Seattle Storm (28-8) vs. Phoenix Mercury (22-16)
|Date & Time||Friday August 31, 2018, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Phoenix Mercury -2 -- Over/Under: 174.5
ESPNEWS & NBA TV SIMULCAST
The Seattle Storm and Phoenix Mercury meet Friday in game three of the WNBA semifinals at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.
The Seattle Storm will advance to their third ever WNBA Finals and first since 2010 with a victory here. The Seattle Storm are averaging 87.3 points on 46.8 percent shooting and allowing 79.9 points on 43.7 percent shooting. Breanna Stewart is averaging 22 points and 8.6 rebounds while Jewell Loyd is averaging 15.8 points and 3.8 assists. Natasha Howard is the third double-digit scorer and Sue Bird is dishing 7.1 assists. The Seattle Storm are shooting 37.7 percent from beyond the arc and 81 percent from the free throw line. The Seattle Storm are allowing 34 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 35.3 rebounds per game. The Seattle Storm have won five of their last six road games.
The Phoenix Mercury need a victory here in order to force a game four on Sunday. The Phoenix Mercury are averaging 86.5 points on 46.4 percent shooting and allowing 83.5 points on 43.2 percent shooting. Diana Taurasi is averaging 20.7 points and 5.3 assists while Brittney Griner is averaging 20.5 points and 7.7 rebounds. DeWanna Bonner is the third double-digit scorer and Briann January is dishing 3.3 assists. The Phoenix Mercury are shooting 36.4 percent from beyond the arc and 84.7 percent from the free throw line. The Phoenix Mercury are allowing 36.3 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 32.8 rebounds per game. The Phoenix Mercury have won five straight home games.
The Storm are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 2 days rest, 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games and 14-5-1 ATS in their last 20 games overall. The Mercury are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games playing on 2 days rest, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games and 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Storm are 15-7 ATS in the last 22 meetings in Phoenix, 6-14 ATS in the last 20 meetings and the over is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings.
Despite an 0-2 hole and very slow starts to both games, the Phoenix Mercury could have very well won either of the first two games of this series. The Mercury made an incredible fourth quarter comeback in game two to force overtime, showing if they start the game strong they can actually get a positive result. The Storm still win this series, but I like the Mercury to push it to a game four. The Mercury are too playoff experienced and prideful to go out in a sweep. This is where the stars take over, the crowd does its job and the home team puts on a show. I'll lay the bucket with the Phoenix Mercury.