NEW YORK – Candice Dupree scored 18 points as Phoenix beat the New York Liberty 76-64 on Tuesday night, giving the Mercury home-court advantage throughout the WNBA playoffs.
Diana Taurasi had 14 points, Brittney Griner scored 12 and Erin Phillips had 11 for Phoenix (27-4), the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Dupree moved into 20th place on the league's career scoring list with 4,247 points.
Dupree's layup made it 55-38 with 4:34 left in the third, and her jumper gave Phoenix an 18-point lead — its biggest of the game — with 5:46 remaining in the fourth.
The Mercury's win ended the Lynx's three-year reign atop the West in the regular season. The Lynx had already locked up at least second place.
New York's loss put its chance at the postseason in even more peril as the Liberty dropped to fifth place — one-game out of the last playoff spot in the East behind Chicago and Indiana. However, it faces the Fever twice in its last three games.
The Mercury moved one win behind the league record of 28, set by Los Angeles in 2000 and 2001 — when the league played 32 games — and matched by Seattle in 2010.
Tina Charles scored 16 of her 26 points in the first quarter to keep New York (13-18) competitive early.