Lynx-Phoenix series preview

  • Updated: September 22, 2011 - 1:15 AM

The Lynx advanced to the Western Conference finals with a three-game triumph over San Antonio and now face the Phoenix Mercury, led by Diana Taurasi.

WEST SERIES SCHEDULE

Today: 8 p.m. at Target Center • ESPN2, 106.1-FM Sunday: 4 p.m. at US Airways Center • ESPN2, 106.1-FM Tuesday: at Target Center, if nec. • Time/TV TBA

KEYS TO THE SERIES

The Lynx were 3-2 against Phoenix this year, winning the fifth game in Arizona 96-90 on Sept. 11, the last day of the regular season.

Hot shooting: Diana Taurasi, Penny Taylor and Candice Dupree averaged 52.9 points per game, more than any other trio in the WNBA. Somebody is always hot for the Mercury, so the Lynx will have to keep scoring to keep pace. Phoenix shot a league-best 46.1 percent from the field.

Bench play: The Mercury prefers to play at a frantic pace, and the Lynx have matched it several times, with mixed results. Phoenix won at Target Center 112-105 on July 13 in the highest-scoring four-quarter game in the history of the WNBA.

Points from posts: Taj McWilliams-Franklin (16 points) and Rebekkah Brunson (15), the Lynx's two 6-2 inside players, got reinvolved in the offense on Tuesday and San Antonio withered, losing 85-67 to the Lynx. Against Phoenix, their points will be needed even more.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Maya Moore, Lynx: The Rookie of Year is the team's best deep threat on Lindsay Whalen's passes on fast breaks. She also will have to contain the Mercury's Penny Taylor.

Lindsay Whalen, Lynx: Adept at finding open players. Is willing to do whatever her coaches want. Last game, it was to get everyone more involved in the offense and the four other starters had at least 14 points; she had four.

Penny Taylor, Phoenix: The 6-1 Aussie missed five of the last six games in the regular season because of muscle spasms in her back. She returned for the playoffs and in the deciding game against Seattle had 19 points and 17 rebounds.

DeWanna Bonner, Phoenix: The slender 6-4 Bonner won the league's Sixth Player Award for a third consecutive year after averaging 10.6 points and a career-high 7.0 rebounds.

STATS COMPARISON

(Regular season) Points per game: Lynx 81.5, third in WNBA; Mercury 89.0, first

Opponents' points: Lynx 73.6, second; Mercury 86.0, 12th

Three-point shooting: Lynx 36.8 percent, fourth; Mercury 37.3 percent, third

Turnovers per game: Lynx 12.9, second; Mercury 15.4, eighth

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