The Phoenix Mercury will face off against the Seattle Storm in the 2nd Round of the WNBA Playoffs.

Phoenix Mercury vs. Seattle Storm in WNBA Playoffs 2nd Round

The Phoenix Mercury, seeded fifth, secured a spot in the second round after a challenging first-round game against the New York Liberty on Thursday. They are now set to compete again on Sunday.

The Mercury secured a close 83-82 victory over the eighth-seeded Liberty at GCU Arena, with Sami Whitcomb’s clutch free throw sealing the win. They are now set to face the fourth-seeded Seattle Storm in the Emerald City.

The game between the Mercury and Storm will tip off at noon in Arizona (3 p.m. Eastern) on Sunday, airing nationally on ABC.

The second Mercury WNBA Playoff game since the launch of new Arizona sports betting apps on Sept. 9 will take place against Seattle on Sunday.

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Mercury will be the underdogs on Sunday.

Phoenix is considered to be the slight underdog when going up against the defending WNBA champions.

Following their win against the Liberty, the Mercury’s chances of winning the league championship remained at +900 on PointsBet Arizona and rose to +750 on BetMGM Arizona. Phoenix is currently ranked fifth among the six remaining postseason teams on PointsBet, with the Connecticut Sun (+200), Las Vegas Aces (+240), Storm (+400), and Minnesota Lynx (+800) ahead of them, while they are ahead of the Chicago Sky (+1600). On BetMGM, the Las Vegas Aces are the favorites at +200 with the Connecticut Sun close behind at +225 as of Friday afternoon.

This year, the Storm had a successful regular season record of 21-11, thanks to their high-speed offense led by forward Breanna Stewart. Stewart, who averaged 20.3 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, was the team’s top scorer and rebounder.

Guard Jewell Loyd is another important player for the Storm to keep an eye on, as she put up impressive statistics of 17.9 points, 4 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game this season.

Sue Bird, a four-time WNBA champion and 12-time league All-Star, is currently posting averages of 10 points, 5.3 assists, and 2.6 rebounds per game in the current season.

Bird, now in her 20th season in the league, has the most assists in the history of the WNBA.


Mercury’s inconsistent performance against the Storm led to mixed results.

In 2021, the Mercury had a mixed record against the Storm, winning one game and losing two during the regular season.

Brittany Griner’s outstanding 29-point, 15-rebound performance led Phoenix to victory over Seattle in their last game on July 9, with a final score of 85-77.

The Mercury struggled in their games against the Storm while playing away, losing both matchups in Seattle with final scores of 94-85 and 82-75.


Diana Taurasi’s current status

Guard Diana Taurasi’s health will play a pivotal role in deciding the result of Sunday’s second round match, as the Mercury’s success will largely depend on her well-being.

Taurasi missed the team’s first playoff game because of an ankle injury, even though she had been listed as questionable all week.

The Mercury’s performance in Sunday’s game will be determined by the condition of Taurasi’s ankle, as the veteran guard brings an additional offensive threat to Phoenix.


Even though Taurasi missed half of Phoenix’s regular season due to injury, she still excelled when she was healthy.

This year, the former UConn standout averaged 15.2 points, 4.9 assists, and 4.4 rebounds per game while playing for Phoenix. She also showcased her skills as a valuable long-range shooter for the Mercury.

Her ability to stretch the floor prevented opposing teams from double-teaming Griner or Diggins-Smith, allowing head coach Sandy Brondello to generate additional offensive chances.

Taurasi’s presence on the court, even if she is not performing at her peak, will be instrumental in creating scoring chances for the Mercury’s offense. This could ultimately determine whether the team progresses to the semifinals next week or faces elimination in the second round.

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Author

Peterson Christopher

Peterson Christopher has been reporting on sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, having worked at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly, and the Green Valley News. He now serves as the primary writer for yengols.com.

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