Last Updated: 2017-09-16
WNBA Semifinals – Los Angeles Sparks at Phoenix Mercury GAME 3
Date/Time: 09-17-2017, 10:00 EDT
Spread: Phoenix Mercury +5
In Game 3 of the second semifinal of the 2017 WNBA Playoffs, the fifth-seeded Phoenix Mercury (20-16) are hosting the second-seeded and defending champions Los Angeles Sparks (26-8), in a best of five series that will determine who will advance to the WNBA Finals to face the winner of the Minnesota-Washington matchup.
In game 2 on Thursday, Sparks were once again dominating and after a slow start managed to get another easy home victory with a 72-86 score that gives them a commanding 2-0 lead before the series moves to Phoenix for game 3. They now need only one win in the next three games in order to advance to the WNBA finals. Los Angeles managed to build a small lead in the whole first half, leading by 3 in the first (19-22) and by 8 in the second (35-43). The guests stopped the defending champions from extending their lead in the third quarter, but Los Angeles finished the job in the fourth and with a 17-25 score in that span, they got away with an easy home victory. Parker had a monster game for the Sparks with 24 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks and 2 steals, while Taurasi bounced back for Mercury with 21 points.
This will be the 6th meeting between those two teams this season, with Los Angeles having won all five previous matches. Phoenix are 10-8 at home, while Los Angeles are 10-7 on the road. Los Angeles are better both offensively, scoring 83.5 ppg to Phoenix’s 81.9, and defensively, allowing a second-best 75.2 ppg to Phoenix’s 81.9. They also have better percentages both in field goals, shooting with a league-best 48% to Phoenix’s 44%, and in 3-pointers, shooting with 34.2% to Phoenix’s 33.9%. They are also better in assists made, with 18.5 to Phoenix’s 17.7, and they commit less turnovers per game, with 13.2 to Phoenix’s 13.9. Mercury are only better in rebounding, grabbing 32.1 to Sparks’ 31.3 (third-worse). This is a do-or-die game for Phoenix and they want to avoid being swept today, so expect a close game. Pick Phoenix in this one.
Prediction: Phoenix Mercury +5 (-102)
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