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Mercury end Shock's season, stay in Tulsa; head to Conference Finals

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The Phoenix Mercury swept the Tulsa Shock 2-0 and now head to the Conference Finals. It's an even tougher night for the Shock, as their season and time in Tulsa comes to an end.

Chris Poss

Tulsa, OK -- The Phoenix Mercury are on a mission to capture its second straight WNBA title, but first they paid a visit to Odyssey Sims and the Tulsa Shock Saturday night in game two of the Western Conference SemiFinals.

The Mercury (21-14) defeated the Shock (18-19), 91-67 to win the three-game playoff series 2-0, and advance to the next round.

Tulsa found itself in a must-win scenario with a home court advantage, after losing to Phoenix in a blowout game Thursday at US Airways Center. Experience set the tone at the BOK Center, as Tulsa only had four players who have ever seen WNBA playoff minutes, and none of which was while wearing a Shock uniform. Phoenix, on the other hand, hasn't lost a first-round playoff series since 2000.

Phoenix took a 4-0 lead quick in the first quarter, and Tulsa trailed until the clock hit 53 seconds. Sims drove the lane for a layup and gave Tulsa a two-point lead. Then with 10 seconds left in the first DeWanna Bonner, Mercury forward followed her own shot under the basket to tie the game at 19.

Sims got the Shock crowd going with a steal and layup to start the second quarter and give Tulsa a two-point lead once again, yet not for long. Phoenix ran away in the third quarter and took a 20-point lead with 20 seconds left, which was the largest lead of the game. Sandy Brondello, Mercury head coach, was pleased with her team's defensive effort, which translated into Tulsa shooting 29 percent from the field.

"The Shock is a dangerous team," Brondello said. "And they're playing without some of their key players...but when we shoot 53 percent we are a tough team to play against."

Four of the Mercury's starters found double digits in scoring. Brittney Griner and Bonner both recorded a double-double. Griner scored 23 points and snagged 12 rebounds. Bonner added 20 points and 11 rebounds. Monique Currie scored 11 points for the Mercury, and Candice Dupree added 10 points and four rebounds.

Sims took control of Tulsa's offense with 22 points; she also dished out seven assists and lead the Shock in that category.  Karima Christmas and Plenette Pierson scored 11 points apiece. Brianna Keisal scored 10 points and Courtney Paris was just shy of a double-double with 8 points and 8 rebounds.

After six seasons in Tulsa, the Shock will no longer call the BOK Center home. The team will play in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area beginning the 2016 season.  Shock fans gave their team a standing ovation as they exited the arena for the last time. Shock Coach Fred Williams said the fans in Tulsa have rallied behind this team.

"The Tulsa area and the Tulsa fans have been great absolutely great," Williams said. "They have really shown a lot of voice here for this team, and the players know that and they feel that. We have brought a lot of history here to this town and a women's professional sports team in Tulsa. "

Tulsa will conduct exit interview next week with it's players, and several players will leave within the next few days to fulfill contracts overseas.

Phoenix will move on to face either Los Angeles or Minnesota in the next round of playoffs.