Originally written on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 11/3/14
The only thing left between the Minnesota Lynx and a third straight WNBA Finals berth is an opponent it beat five times this season. But the Phoenix Mercury, as their 78-77 clincher over Los Angeles on Monday exhibited, are a different group than the one that fell by an average margin of 16 points against the Western Conference regular-season champs from the North. Rookie Brittney Griner hit the game-winning jumper over league MVP Candace Parker with 4.9 seconds to go in Game 3 of the other Western Conference semifinal, sending the Mercury back to Minneapolis for a second-round opener Thursday night. The Lynx earned some extra rest and time to observe their next opponent with a first-round sweep of Seattle over the weekend. They handled Griner, Diana Taurasi and Phoenix with relative ease in five matchups that all occurred before the All-Star break, the only exception being an 82-77 grinder in Arizona on July 21. But Minnesota came back three days later and edged the West's event...
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