2011 WNBA Playoffs: Liberty and Mercury Stay Alive

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After losing in game one of the respective playoff series, the New York Liberty and the Phoenix Mercury proved that they want to go for vacation this early after winning in game two to stay in contention for this year’s title.

The New York Liberty, who absorbed a very painful defeat in the series-opener, took control of the game since the second period to run away with an impressive 87-72 win over the top-seeded Indiana Fever in Newark, New Jersey.

Nicole Powell spearheaded her team’s attack as she finished with 19 points and five rebounds, Plenette Pierson added 15 markers, while Cappie Pondexter chipped in 14 points and five boards for the Liberty, who leaned on their tough defense to take down the number one seed in the Eastern Conference.

“We really focused on playing team defense, stopping penetration and keying in on their key players,” said New York guard Essence Carson, who finished with 12 points. “We just played our defense, our white-line defense. Today, everyone was very, very focused. It was win or go home, and obviously no one wanted to go home.”

On the other hand, the Phoenix Mercury also refused to end their season on Sunday as they hammered out an impressive 92-83 win over the defending champions Seattle Storm in Phoenix.

Candice Dupree had an explosive game, erupting for 29 points to go with seven rebounds, while Diana Taurasi added 26 points for the Mercury, who shot an impressive 55.1 percent clip from the field.

“Shot the ball better, up-tempo game is our game,” Phoenix coach Corey Gaines said. “I guess if we walk the ball down the court and play their style, they are better at that than we are. Hopefully we are better at the up-tempo game than they are.”

Game three of both series will be on Tuesday in which the winners will advance to the second round of the playoffs.

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