Published September 11, 2011
PHOENIX – Maya Moore, Monica Wright and Seimone Augustus all scored 15 points and the Minnesota Lynx beat the Phoenix Mercury 96-90 on Sunday in the regular-season finale for both teams.
As the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs, Minnesota (27-7) will host San Antonio on Friday in the opener of the best-of-3 semifinal series. Third-place Phoenix (19-15) will travel to Seattle for its first game of the playoffs on Thursday.
Diana Taurasi led the Mercury with 19 points and won the WNBA scoring title for the fourth consecutive season. She also grabbed five rebounds.
Taurasi secured her fifth scoring title in her eight-year career when she made a 3-pointer with 6:15 left. Her average of 21.6 points per game edged out Atlanta's Angel McCoughtry.
Minnesota, which has won nine of 10, owns home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Lynx led 79-63, after three quarters but the Mercury got within 89-84 with 4:03 remaining. Alexis Hornbuckle and Wright both scored to help Minnesota hold on.
Rebekkah Brunson added 14 points, and Jessica Adair had 10 points and 13 rebounds for the Lynx, who haven't been in the playoffs since getting swept by Seattle in the first round in 2004. Their only other appearance was a loss the year before to Los Angeles.
Marie Ferdinand-Harris added 15 points and DeWanna Bonner had 14 for Phoenix.
The Mercury are in the playoffs for the fourth time in five years, having won the WNBA title in 2007 and 2009. They were swept by eventual champion Seattle in the conference finals last season.
Penny Taylor, the Mercury's second-leading scorer, sat out for the fifth time in six games. She only played a half in her last appearance on Sept. 3. The team has said Taylor is set to play in the postseason.
Moore had 11 points, including six in the final 3:41 of the second quarter, as Minnesota opened up a 52-45 lead at the break.
DeWanna Bonner scored 14 points in the first half for the Mercury, which lost three of five meetings with Minnesota.
The Lynx won all four meetings with San Antonio during the regular season. The Mercury lost three of four against Seattle.