NEW YORK — Kristi Toliver scored 32 points, hitting a WNBA playoff-record nine 3-pointers, to lead the Washington Mystics to an 82-68 victory over the New York Liberty on Sunday.
The Mystics will face Minnesota in the best-of-five semifinals, starting Tuesday night in Minneapolis. This is as far as the Mystics have gone in the playoffs since 2002 — the last time they made it out of the opening round of the postseason.
Washington found itself down 13 points in the first half before rallying to 41-35 at the break. Then Toliver took over. She scored 16 points in the third quarter, hitting all four of her 3-pointers in the period. She could only shrug and smile as the fourth one went in to give the Mystics a 57-46 advantage with 2:48 left in the third. She set the Mystics franchise record for points in a game by the end of the third quarter.
That 3-pointer, her eighth, also broke the previous WNBA record for 3-pointers made in a playoff game.
Tina Charles led the Liberty with 18 points. It’s the second consecutive season that New York was a three-seed and lost its first postseason game.
MERCURY 88, SUN 83
UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Brittney Griner had 26 points and nine rebounds, Diana Taurasi added 23 points, and Phoenix beat Connecticut to reach the semifinals.
Taurasi moved to 11-0 in elimination playoff games.
Phoenix will play Los Angeles on Tuesday night in Game 1 of a best-of-five semfinal series.
Phoenix made 3-pointers on three straight possession late in the fourth quarter to take an 84-79 lead. Leilani Mitchell started it with an open shot from the wing for a 78-76 lead. Taurasi came off a screen for another 3, and Monique Currie capped it with 2:31 left.
Alyssa Thomas had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Sun, and Jonquel Jones added 19 points and 15 rebounds for Connecticut. Jones had 11 points and 12 rebounds in the first half to set a playoff franchise record for rebounds in a half.