Griner's late bucket sends Mercury to West finals

By The Sports Network
September 24, 2013 - 1:03am
The crowd reacts as Brittney Griner (No. 42) puts up the game-winning jumper with 4.9 seconds left to carry the Phoenix Mercury to a 77-78 road win over the Los Angeles Sparks at Staples Center on Sept. 23, 2013. With the win, the Mercury advance to face the Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA Western Conference Finals. (Photo by Lee Michaelson)

The crowd reacts as Brittney Griner (No. 42) puts up the game-winning jumper with 4.9 seconds left to carry the Phoenix Mercury to a 77-78 road win over the Los Angeles Sparks at Staples Center on Sept. 23, 2013. With the win, the Mercury advance to face the Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA Western Conference Finals. (Photo by Lee Michaelson)

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Brittney Griner's go-ahead jumper with 4.9 seconds left lifted the Phoenix Mercury to a 78-77 win over the Los Angeles Sparks in the deciding Game 3 of their WNBA Western Conference semifinal set.

Candace Parker, the 2013 WNBA MVP, gave Los Angeles a 77-76 lead with seven seconds left following a layup, but Griner responded with a turnaround jumper to put the Mercury in front.

Parker's shot at the buzzer from the wing was off the mark to send Phoenix to the Western Conference finals where the Mercury will take on the top-seeded Minnesota Lynx.

Candice Dupree netted 22 points and Diana Taurasi added 18 points and 10 assists for Phoenix, which is off to the conference finals for the fourth time in the past five years.

Griner finished with six points and four rebounds.

Parker tallied 18 points and seven boards for the Sparks, who were 2-of-37 from 3-point range in the series.

Phoenix led 42-40 at the break and 66-64 heading into the fourth.

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