Pondexter's 33 points helps Mercury reach WNBA Finals

PHOENIX -- Cappie Pondexter scored nine of her 33 points in
the final five minutes and the Phoenix Mercury advanced to the WNBA
finals with a 98-92 win Saturday over the San Antonio Silver Stars.

"I was just thinking to attack," Pondexter said. "That's what
I was doing. But I can't just look at myself, I think everybody
made incredible plays down the stretch in the last three minutes."

The Mercury, who have swept both their playoff series, will play
beginning Wednesday against Detroit or Indiana. The Fever lead the
best-of-three series 1-0.

The Mercury have only been in the WNBA Finals once, in 1998.

"Our players would not be denied," Phoenix coach Paul Westhead
said. "They just weren't going to let it go. It wasn't an easy one
because San Antonio played about as well as they can."

Phoenix outscored San Antonio 17-10 over the final 3:12. Penny
Taylor added 23 points and Diana Taurasi had 18 for the Mercury,
who have won 15 of their last 16 games.

Phoenix beat San Antonio 102-100 in Game 1 Thursday night.

On Saturday, Shanna Crossley made six of 10 3-pointers and led
the Silver Stars with 20 points. Sophia Young scored 19 points and
grabbed 10 rebounds.

Becky Hammon had 14 points and eight assists while Helen Darling
added 13.

"I'm disappointed we didn't close the deal and force a third
game," San Antonio coach Dan Hughes said. "Because I think a
third game was really deserved in this series."

Pondexter drove for a layup and made a subsequent free throw to
give Phoenix the lead for good at 87-84 with 2:09 left.

Kelly Miller then stole a pass on the other end, was fouled by
Hammon and made the two free throws to put the Mercury up by five.

Young made a pair of free throws to cut it to three but then
Taylor made a 3-pointer and was fouled by Marie Ferdinand-Harris
and the free throw with 1:05 left gave Phoenix an insurmountable
93-86 lead.

"It was the one," Hughes said. "Penny's play, I saw the ball
coming out to her, having had a history with Penny, I knew that
probably wasn't a great scenario we were about to defend ... but
that was a backbreaker."

Crossley made four of her first five 3-pointers to help San
Antonio build a 28-16 lead with 1:38 left in the first quarter. But
Phoenix scored the last seven points of the period and then started
the second period on an 11-4 run to regain the lead, 34-32, with
6:17 left.

Crossley hit two more baskets during a four-minute span to get
the Silver Stars a 47-42 lead at the break.