Taurasi dazzles as Mercury beat Monarchs, clinch WestAug 18, 2007 - 4:25 AM SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- All-Star Diana Taurasi scored 32 points as the Phoenix Mercury clinched the Western Conference with a 101-91 win over the Sacramento Monarchs on Friday night.
Cappie Pondexter had 23 points and six assists and Tangela Smith added 14 and seven rebounds for Phoenix (22-11), which finished first overall in the conference for the first time since the inaugural 1997 campaign.
The Mercury will face the fourth-seeded Seattle Storm (17-17) in the opening round of the playoffs next week.
Trailing, 21-15, after the first quarter, Phoenix took control in the second. Pondexter's 3-pointer with 4:07 remaining gave the Mercury the lead for good, 35-32.
Phoenix extended its advantage to 73-54 in the third, when Taurasi drained a shot from the arc at the 3:18 mark.
Rebekkah Brunson scored 17 points to led the way for Sacramento (19-14), which shot 50 percent (34-of-68) from the field and committed 23 turnovers.
SACRAMENTO 91 FINAL
Aug 17 11:59 PM
SACRAMENTO 64 END, 3RD QTR
Aug 17 11:33 PM
SACRAMENTO 37 HALFTIME
Aug 17 10:55 PM
SACRAMENTO 21 END, 1ST QTR
Aug 17 10:27 PM
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