Sophia Young scored 24 points to lead the San Antonio Silver Stars to a 92-91 victory over the Phoenix Mercury on Thursday night in the opening game of the WNBA's Western Conference first-round series.
The previous two Western Conference champions will play Game 2 in Phoenix on Saturday night.
Edwige Lawson-Wade added 16 points for the Silver Stars, while Becky Hammon had 13, including the clinching free throws with 2 seconds left, and Shanna Crossley 11.
Down by 12 points in the third quarter, Phoenix cut the lead to 87-86 on a 12-foot jumper by Cappie Pondexter with 1:12 left, but that's as close as the Mercury would get.
Penny Taylor led the Mercury, who had the best record in the league (23-11), with 18 points and Diana Taurasi, DeWanna Bonnor and Pondexter all added 15.
The Silver Stars entered the playoffs with the worst record (15-19) of any playoff team. It was the first time a team made the Western Conference playoffs with a losing record.
San Antonio was in control for most of the game and built a 65-53 lead, its largest of the game, on Lawson-Wade's layup with 3:50 left in the third quarter.
When Pondexter made it 87-86, Lawson-Wade hit her fourth 3-pointer with 50 seconds left.
After Hammon's late free throws, Taylor hit a 3-pointer with no time left for the final score.