MINNEAPOLIS -- A familiar and star-studded cast headlines the Western Conference Finals, with the Phoenix Mercury and Minnesota Lynx meeting for the third straight year to go with their inaugural playoff duel in 2011. However, the subplot is not quite the same as previous meetings; in 2013, Minnesota was a clear favorite to win the championship, and Phoenix held that standing last year. This time around, the winner could be a potential underdog in the Finals, especially if New York wins the East, but the first item of business is getting to the championship round.
PHOENIX, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Mercury are back in the WNBA Western Conference finals for the third consecutive season and are now just five victories away from winning back-to-back WNBA titles. Standing in their way, however, is the top seed from the West, an explosive and deep Minnesota Lynx team.
Charles -- Tina Charles, that is -- was most definitely in charge on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. But this year's playoffs have been chock full of big moments for spark plugs off the bench, and Tuesday's must-win Game Three of the series between New York and Washington would prove no different as Sugar Rodgers came off the pines for 20 points to carry Liberty, once the perennial East champion, over the Mystics, 79-74, and on to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in five years.
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Lynx hustled their way to the Western Conference Finals for a fifth consecutive year, defeating the Los Angeles Sparks 91-80 in the third and deciding game of their first-round playoff series Tuesday night at the Target Center in Minneapolis.
There were occasional cracks, but the Lynx displayed their most cohesive game in a long time, an intangible no one was sure would return with a roster that had endured multiple injuries and mid-season transactions.
MINNEAPOLIS -- A defensive duel in Game One of the Western Conference semifinals between the Los Angeles Sparks and Minnesota Lynx worked in Minnesota's favor, with the Lynx holding serve at home Friday for a 67-65 win. Now, an injury-plagued team thought to be prone to an upset has a chance to sweep Round One as the series moves to the Pyramid Long Beach Sunday afternoon. (The Sparks' usual home court at the Staples Center in Los Angeles was booked for the Emmy's.)
Allie Quigley demonstrated compellingly why she was named 2015 WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year (the second season in a row she has earned the honor), coming off the bench for 20 points to lead the Chicago Sky to a 77-72 victory over the Indiana Fever in Game One of the Eastern Conference playoffs at UIC Pavilion in Chicago on Thursday.
The Minnesota Lynx secured the top seed in the Western Conference, but never has a front-runner looked so vulnerable. Injuries and inconsistency bogged the Lynx down in the second half of the season, and although their roster will be at full strength for the playoffs, there may not be enough time for the team to regain its chemistry.