4 P.M. at PHOENIX • U.S. AIRWAYS CENTER • ESPN2, 106.1-FM
Lynx update: In their Game 1 victory over Phoenix, the Lynx were able to accomplish three important things: They were able to make it difficult for Mercury center Brittney Griner to get the ball in her comfort zone, limit the efficiency of star guard Diana Taurasi and take forward Candice Dupree completely out of the game. Credit Janel McCarville and Rebekkah Brunson for the first job well done, Seimone Augustus and Monica Wright for the second, and Maya Moore for the third. It will be more difficult this time. PG Lindsay Whalen, who so often plays well against Phoenix, is coming off a 20-point, six-rebound, five-assist game. Augustus scored 18 points with five rebounds, and Moore had 20 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals. The ability to score off Phoenix turnovers — the Lynx had a 24-3 edge on points off turnovers Thursday — is key. Minnesota is 5-0 in its three trips to the conference finals.
Mercury update: Perhaps Phoenix’s biggest challenge is getting the Lynx out of the players’ heads. Minnesota has beaten the Mercury 13 consecutive times, including playoffs. And interim coach Russ Pennell has to figure out a way to end that streak. “We have to get them to believe that Minnesota is beatable,” Pennell said. “We have to get out of our own way. We will focus on what we do.’’ Improved play from forwards Dupree and DeWanna Bonner will be important for Phoenix. Dupree averaged 15.2 points during the regular season, Bonner 14.5. They each had just four points in Game 1, when they shot a combined 3-for-17.