Sports

Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner lead Mercury to WNBA championship year later than expected

  • Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi shoots and is fouled by Chicago Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot (22) during the second half of Game 3 of the WNBA Finals basketball series, Friday, Sept. 12, 2014, in Chicago. The Mercury won 87-82 and swept the series. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)

    Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi shoots and is fouled by Chicago Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot (22) during the second half of Game 3 of the WNBA Finals basketball series, Friday, Sept. 12, 2014, in Chicago. The Mercury won 87-82 and swept the series. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this May 29, 2013, file photo, Atlanta Hawks general managerr Danny Ferry waits during a news conference in Atlanta.   Ferry has taken an indefinite leave of absence after making racially charged comments about a potential free agent. (AP Photo/David Tulis, File)

    FILE - In this May 29, 2013, file photo, Atlanta Hawks general managerr Danny Ferry waits during a news conference in Atlanta. Ferry has taken an indefinite leave of absence after making racially charged comments about a potential free agent. (AP Photo/David Tulis, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner kisses the WNBA championship trophy after the Mercury defeated the Chicago Sky 87-82 in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals, Friday, Sept. 12, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)

    Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner kisses the WNBA championship trophy after the Mercury defeated the Chicago Sky 87-82 in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals, Friday, Sept. 12, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)  (The Associated Press)

The Phoenix Mercury are champions — a year later than expected.

After selecting 6-foot-8 dunker Brittney Griner with the No. 1 over pick in 2013, Phoenix was the favorite to win the WNBA title that season and perhaps many more.

The Mercury came up short last season, but ran away from the rest of the league this year.

Phoenix set a league record with 29 wins during the regular season and, after getting past rival Minnesota in the conference finals, swept Chicago for the franchise's third championship.

Playing without Griner, who suffered a scratched eye in Game 2, the Mercury closed out the sweep with an 87-82 win in Chicago on Friday night behind Taurasi, who scored 14 of her team's final 20 points.