PHOENIX (AP) – Odyssey Sims scored 11 of her 22 points in a game-changing and contentious third quarter and the Minnesota Lynx rolled to an 83-69 victory over the Phoenix Mercury on Friday night.
The Mercury led 44-40 at the half but were outscored 9-0 to start the third quarter. DeWanna Bonner picked up an early technical foul and Brittney Griner picked up two and was ejected with 2:51 left in the third quarter and the Lynx ahead by 10.
Minnesota had a 29-9 advantage in the third quarter and coasted to the win, which was the 231st for coach Cheryl Reeves, breaking a tie with Michael Cooper for fifth on the WNBA list.
Minnesota (18-15) has won a season-high five straight and moved a game ahead of Seattle in the battle for homecourt advantage when the teams meet in the playoffs next week. Minnesota is the sixth seed headed into the regular-season finale Sunday, but Seattle has the tiebreaker.
Damiria Dantas added 17 points, and Napheesa Collier 14 for the Lynx. Sylvia Fowles had 11 points and 11 rebounds and moved past Tamika Catchings into second on the WNBA career rebounding list with 3,323.
Griner had 16 points before she was ejected. Sophie Cunningham had 11 off the bench for the Mercury (15-18), who are locked into the eighth seed. Phoenix was 17 of 31 from the field in the first half and 8 of 31 in the second.