Lynx 103

(27-7, 13-4 away)

Mercury 86

(19-15, 11-6 home)

    Coverage: ESPN2/WatchESPN

    5:00 PM ET, September 25, 2011

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIN 24 19 27 33103
    PHX 20 25 20 2186

    Top Performers

    Minnesota: M. Moore 21 Pts, 7 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl

    Phoenix: C. Dupree 18 Pts, 11 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Blk

    Lynx-Mercury Preview


    The Minnesota Lynx opened the Western Conference finals with a convincing win, but they don't expect to have it quite so easy when they visit Phoenix.

    The Lynx, the WNBA's best team during the regular season, will try to claim the first conference title in franchise history Sunday by closing out the Mercury at the US Airways Center.

    A bevy of scoring was expected in this series between two of the most high-powered offenses in the league. Minnesota and Phoenix also averaged more than 90 points apiece against each other in five regular-season matchups.

    In Thursday's series opener, however, it was the Lynx who did most of the scoring in their 95-67 home victory. Seimone Augustus led five Minnesota players in double figures with 21 points and the Lynx shot 50.0 percent to Phoenix's 35.7.

    "It probably looked easy, but it wasn't," Augustus said. "That was a very tough team that we played tonight. We know when we go to Phoenix, Arizona, there is going to be a different series."

    The Lynx have already proved they can win there. Two of their three victories over the Mercury during the regular season were in Phoenix.

    With 22 points, Mercury All-Star guard Diana Taurasi was the only player to score more than 12 for her team Thursday.

    "Lose by one or lose by 30, it's a loss," Phoenix coach Corey Gaines said. "I learned that a long time ago. We'll get back home and regroup."

    Even while reveling in her team's victory, Minnesota guard Candice Wiggins said she expected to face a motivated Mercury team in Game 2 of the best-of-three series.

    "We've just got to be prepared for wrath," Wiggins said. "They're going to be real upset."

    Phoenix would do well to channel that emotion into slowing down Augustus, who is averaging 21.5 points during the playoffs -- 5.3 more than the regular season. She averaged 21.8 points on 60.8 percent shooting against the Mercury during the regular season and scored a season-high 26 during an 85-80 loss in Phoenix on Aug. 9.

    "We just need to limit her touches and try to take her out of the game when we are at Phoenix," Mercury guard/forward DeWanna Bonner said.

    Minnesota's Maya Moore, the WNBA rookie of the year, had a season-high 28 points during last month's defeat at the US Airways Center and averaged 21.7 points on 64.5 percent shooting during the final three regular-season matchups. She got her team off to a strong start in Game 1 by tallying 13 of her 15 points in the first quarter.

    "It was a great Game 1 for us, but it was only 40 minutes," Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. "There's 80 minutes to go in the series."