Dream beat Mystics 81-76 for 2-1 series lead

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              Washington Mystics guard Kristi Toliver, right, passes the ball against Atlanta Dream guard Alex Bentley, left, during the first half of Game 3 of a WNBA basketball playoffs semifinal Friday, Aug. 31, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
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PHOENIX (AP) — DeWanna Bonner had 27 points and 11 rebounds, and the Phoenix Mercury scored the first 14 points of the fourth quarter to beat the Seattle Storm 86-66 on Friday night to force a Game 4 in the WNBA semifinal series.

The Mercury had fallen into big holes and rallied in the fourth quarter, only to come up short the first two games of the series.

Phoenix kept it close in Game 3 at home and made another big run in the fourth quarter to cut Seattle’s lead to 2-1 in a series that heads to Game 4 on Sunday in Phoenix.

The Mercury suffered a blow before the game, learning starting forward Stephanie Talbot would not play due to a concussion. Phoenix also had to play through a difficult night offensively for Diana Taurasi, who had eight points on 3-of-11 shooting.

Brittany Griner had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Yvonne Turner had 19 points in Talbot’s place to help the Mercury end a 10-game losing streak in WNBA semifinal games.

Natasha Howard had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Storm. Breanna Stewart added 15 points and 11 rebounds in Seattle’s eighth straight road playoff loss dating to 2011.

DREAM, 81, MYSTICS 76

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tiffany Hayes had 23 points and 11 rebounds and Atlanta beat Washington to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five semifinal series.

Washington played without injured All-Star Elena Delle Donne.

Brittney Sykes scored 17 points, and Elizabeth Williams had 14 for the Dream. Atlanta is one victory away from the franchise’s fourth finals appearance and first since 2013.

Delle Donne suffered a bone bruise on her left knee in the closing minutes of Tuesday’s 78-75 Game 2 loss at Atlanta. Washington’s offense labored without its leading scorer. The Mystics shot 36 percent from the field and 5 of 23 on 3-point attempts.

Aerial Powers led Washington with a season-high 18 points. Ariel Atkins scored 17 points.