Preview: The rivalry between the Lynx and Mercury has been built largely through their heated playoff battles, and this year marks the fourth in a row in which they have met in the WNBA semifinals. Phoenix was the bottom seed in the eight-team playoff field and beat No. 5 seed Indiana and No. 3 seed New York on the road to reach the semis. The top-seeded Lynx earned a bye into the semifinals and will play for the first time in 10 days. For the first time, the semifinals will be a best-of-five series rather than a best-of-three.
Players to watch: As always, the Mercury revolves around guard Diana Taurasi, who scored 30 points — including 17 in the fourth quarter — to propel Phoenix in the single-elimination second-round victory at New York. Taurasi is averaging 25 points in two playoff games after averaging 17.8 in the regular season. The Lynx’s Maya Moore averaged 27.3 points in three games against the Mercury this season and led the team with 19.3 points per game during the regular season.
Numbers: Six of the past nine WNBA titles have been won by the Lynx or Mercury, with each team winning three. … The Lynx went 3-0 against Phoenix this season and are 4-0 against the Mercury at home in the playoffs.
Wednesday: at Lynx, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Friday: at Lynx, 7 p.m. (ESPNews)
Sunday: at Phoenix, 4 p.m. (ESPN)
Tuesday (if necessary): at Phoenix, TBA (ESPN2)
Oct. 6 (if necessary): at Lynx, TBA (ESPN2)
Games 1 and 2 at Xcel Energy Center; Game 5 (if necessary) at Target Center