It's too early to bury the Phoenix Mercury.
But Corey Gaines practically challenged the Twin Cities media to do so in his postgame news conference. People in Seattle know better.
Phoenix lost 80-61 to the Storm in the first game of their series and looked totally outclassed. But Storm players were watching the Lynx-Mercury game Thursday on TV.
"You lose by one, you lose by 30, it's [one] loss," Gaines said. "I learned that a long time ago. ... We'll get home, regroup and play."
He said his team is full of veterans who have won NCAA, World and WNBA championships. "Champions motivate themselves," Gaines said.
The Lynx, obviously, are confident, too, especially after beating Phoenix 95-67, a 28-point margin.
"When you are able to win with defense," Candice Wiggins said, "you feel confident."
Guard Seimone Augustus had 21 points and seven assists. "I just do what the team needs and it varies with each game," Augustus said.
The Lynx shot 50 percent to the Mercury's 35.7 percent, outrebounded Phoenix 42-26 and had 22 assists to 11.
What were his thoughts on the Lynx's man-to-man defense? "Great defense," he said.
Gaines was brief in most of his comments.
With the victory, the Lynx improve to 30-8 overall and 17-3 at home, including 3-0 in the playoffs.
They were the best team in the league during the regular season with a 27-7 record. No other team won more than 21. On Thursday they looked like the best team in the playoffs as they squashed Phoenix.
Four more wins -- one against the Mercury -- and three in the WNBA finals and the Lynx will be league champions. There have been very few of those, and not in a long, long time, in the land of 10,000 lakes.