BRADENTON, Fla.: Shey Peddy made a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to give the Phoenix Mercury an 85-84 victory over the defending champion Washington Mystics on Tuesday night in the first round of the playoffs.
Fifth-seeded Phoenix moves on to play No. 4 seed Minnesota on Thursday in the second round.
Washington guard Leilani Mitchell went 1 of 2 from the free-throw line with 5.8 seconds to go for an 84-82 lead. After a timeout, Diana Taurasi inbounded it to Skylar Diggins-Smith, who drove the lane and lofted a pass over the defense across the court to the corner. Peddy pump-faked it to get her defender in the air and calmly beat the buzzer.
Peddy, who was cut by Washington earlier this season, finished with 12 points for Phoenix. Diggins-Smith had 24 points, six rebounds and five assists and Taurasi, who improved to 7-0 in single-elimination playoff games, added 23 points. The Mercury went on a 17-0 run over a five-minute span for a 78-73 lead.
Mitchell led Washington with 25 points, and Emma Meesseman added 18.
SUN 94, SKY 81
Alyssa Thomas had 26 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists, DeWanna Bonner added 23 points and 12 boards, and seventh-seeded Connecticut beat No. 6 seed Chicago.
Connecticut will play either third-seeded Los Angeles or No. 4 seed Minnesota on Thursday in another single-elimination round.
Thomas beat the halftime buzzer with a hook shot in the lane to tie it at 41, and Connecticut started the second half on a 13-2 run with six points from Jasmine Thomas. Chicago was outscored 27-11 in the game-changing quarter.
Brionna Jones added 12 points and eight rebounds for Connecticut.
Allie Quigley scored 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting, Kahleah Copper added 17 points and Gabby Williams had 16 for Chicago.