The Phoenix Mercury and the Las Vegas Aces will face off in the WNBA Western Finals.

Phoenix Mercury vs. Las Vegas Aces in WNBA Western Finals

The Phoenix Mercury, winners of three WNBA championships, are on the cusp of reaching the league Finals for the first time in seven years, needing just three more wins to secure their spot.

The Mercury reached this stage thanks to the outstanding play of forward Brittany Griner, as well as guards Diana Taurasi and Skylar Diggins-Smith.

The trio of players scored a combined 57 points in Sunday’s second-round game against the defending champion Seattle Storm, leading Phoenix to an 85-80 road victory and knocking their rival out of the playoffs.

Griner led the Mercury in scoring on Sunday, sinking 11 of 17 shots to score 23 points. She also pulled down 16 rebounds, including five offensive boards.

After missing the team’s playoff opener with an ankle injury, Taurasi bounced back with a strong performance. She scored 14 points, had five assists, grabbed four rebounds, and finished with a +17 rating in her return to action.

In the team’s five-point victory, Diggins-Smith tallied 20 points, seven rebounds, and six assists.

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Mercury’s long odds to win the WNBA title are due to their lack of depth and experience.

Even though the Mercury defeated the reigning champions, oddsmakers in Vegas still consider Phoenix as the third-best team out of the remaining four contenders.

BetMGM Arizona gives Phoenix a +300 chance of winning the 2021 WNBA Championship, while PointsBet Arizona has the Mercury at +350 to take the title.

The Aces are considered the second most likely team to win the championship, behind the Connecticut Sun who have better odds of +200 on BetMGM and PointsBet.


Viva Las Vegas

The Mercury’s victory in the second round ensured they would face the No. 2 seed, Las Vegas Aces, in the Western Conference final.

The five-game series between the two teams will begin at 7 p.m. Arizona time on Tuesday in Las Vegas. The game will be aired live on ESPN2 for a national audience.

Next, the two teams will compete in Game 2 at the same time and location on Thursday. This will be followed by Game 3 at Desert Financial Arena in Tempe on Sunday at noon local time.

The fourth game of the series will be held at Footprint Center, which is home to a FanDuel retail sportsbook, on Wednesday at a time that is yet to be announced. If a fifth game is necessary, it will take place on October 8 in Las Vegas at a time that is still to be determined.


Tied Record Against Aces

The Mercury split their series with the Las Vegas Aces during the WNBA regular season, winning one game and losing one game. They emerged victorious in overtime on July 7th with a score of 99-90, but fell short in the regular season finale on September 19th with a close score of 84-83.

The Aces finished the regular season as the top team in the Western Conference of the WNBA with a record of 24-8, while the Mercury placed fourth with a record of 19-13.

Las Vegas emerged victorious over Phoenix in their latest face-off, with seasoned guard Kelsey Plum leading the Aces to victory with a game-high 23 points off the bench. Plum made 9 out of 18 shots during the game.

Diggins-Smith was the leading scorer for the Mercury in the game, putting up 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting. She also added seven assists in the close one-point defeat.

Together, she and the Mercury will have five opportunities to triumph over the Aces in the Western Conference final and secure the top position.

Once Game 1 kicks off in Las Vegas on Tuesday night, we will gain a clearer understanding of whether she and her teammates have what it takes to achieve that goal.

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Author

Peterson Christopher

Peterson Christopher has accumulated over seven years of experience covering sports and sports betting in Arizona. He currently holds the position of lead writer at yengols.com. Prior to this role, he contributed to ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly, and the Green Valley News.

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