Win Or Leave the Bubble: Mercury, Mystics in Round 1 of Playoffs
PHOENIX - The three-time WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury will aim for a league-record tying fourth WNBA Championship this postseason when the team opens its playoff slate with the eighth-seeded Washington Mystics on Tuesday, September 15 at 6 p.m. Phoenix Time (9 p.m. ET) on ESPN2.
Since the league's current playoff format was implemented prior to the start of the 2016 season, the Mercury is 6-1 in single-elimination (first or second round) games (3-1 in the first round). A large part of the Mercury's success in winner-take-all games has been behind the play of Diana Taurasi, who holds a 13-1 record in such games (Game 3 in a best-of-three series, Game 5 in best-of-five series, and single-elimination games) as a professional, and is a perfect 6-0 in first and second round single-elimination games since 2016 (did not play in the Mercury's first-round loss a season ago).
After clinching the fifth-overall seed for the playoffs on September 11, the Mercury learned who its first-round opponent would be this evening after the Washington Mystics locked in the eighth seed by virtue of the team's win over Atlanta. Should Phoenix win Tuesday night, the Mercury will guarantee themselves a second-round matchup with the fourth-seeded Minnesota Lynx on Thursday, September 17 at 4 p.m. (7 p.m. ET) in another win-or-leave-the-bubble game on ESPN2.
Despite 54 games missed due to injury or absence this season, and missing two of its top four players, the Mercury closed the season winning seven of its final nine games. Led by the All-Star duo of Diana Taurasi and Skylar Diggins-Smith, the Mercury continue its title in the WNBA Bubble in Bradenton, Fla. While the surroundings may be unfamiliar and the stands may be empty, this moment and this season is #4TheValley. For more information, visit PhoenixMercury.com.
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