Griner leads Mercury over Storm

PHOENIX (AP) " Brittney Griner scored 21 points and Australia's Penny Taylor had eight in her final regular-season home game to help the Phoenix Mercury beat the Seattle Storm 86-62 in their WNBA match Thursday night.

Taylor announced her retirement at the end of July. She was a three-time All-Star during 13 WNBA seasons, beginning her WNBA career with the Cleveland Rockers in 2001 and joining Phoenix in 2004.

The Mercury (15-18) clinched a playoff spot before tipoff with Washington's loss to Atlanta.

The Storm (15-18) fell into a tie with Mercury but retained their hold on the No. 7 seed due to winning the season series. Both teams conclude the season Sunday when Phoenix visits San Antonio, and Seattle hosts Chicago.

Phoenix led by as many as 17 in the first quarter and maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way. Seattle trailed by 24 at the break and got no closer than 65-50 late in the third quarter.

Meanwhile, Angel McCoughtry scored 31 points as Atlanta beat visiting Washington 94-91 to stay in contention for a double-bye and eliminate the Mystics from the playoff race.

Atlanta (17-16) can still surpass Chicago (17-15) for the No. 4 seed in the playoffs.

McCoughtry's pull-up basket with 1:35 left capped an 8-1 run and gave the Dream a 90-87 lead. Emma Meesseman answered with a jumper and Tayler Hill made both free throws with 13.7 seconds both to give the Mystics (13-20) a one-point lead.

Tiffany Hayes put the Dream back in front for good on a left-handed scoop shot with 9.4 seconds left and Layshia Clarendon added a pair of free throws with 4.0 seconds to go.

Hayes had 21 points, Bria Holmes added 16, and Elizabeth Williams had 13 for Atlanta.

Meesseman and Hill had 20 points each for Washington.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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