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Taurasi Lifts Mercury, LaVine Visits Mall of America, and Ellington Searches For Team

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Diana Taurasi dropped 31 points to lead the Phoenix Mercury over the Minnesota Lynx in a deciding Game 3. Meanwhile, Wolves rookie Zach LaVine made a visit to Mall of America, and former Wolves shooting guard Wayne Ellington is searching for a new team after being released by the Sacramento Kings.

Christian Petersen

Diana Taurasi hit a buzzer-beating 50-footer at the end of the third quarter last night that pushed the Mercury's lead to five points over the Lynx, 72-67. It was a huge turning point in the game, though Taurasi wasn't finished there. She went on to score the first eight points of the fourth quarter, pushing the lead to 13. It was over after that. It didn't help that the Lynx missed their first 10 shots in the final quarter either.

Minnesota was out-scored 24-6 in the fourth quarter and their hopes of winning back-to-back titles were officially dashed last night. It's pretty simple, Taurasi was scorching hot while the Lynx were brutally cold when it mattered most.

The Lynx must now go back to the drawing board and figure out how to deal with Brittney Griner in the years to come. Taurasi was magnificent, and the Mercury were the better team as a whole, but Griner is the reason they're moving on. Whalen can play with Taurasi any night of the week, Maya Moore is the best female basketball player on the face of the earth, but again, the Lynx simply didn't have an answer for Griner.

It was clear on Sunday at the Target Center when I attended, though the Lynx managed to pull out a fantastic comeback win, and it's even more clear now; Griner was the difference. She sets the tone defensively and makes it incredibly difficult to score near the basket. The Lynx just weren't able to get much of anything from McCarville or Brunson offensively. Cheryl Reeve admitted as much after the game, "I got nothing out of my post players. That was unfortunate from an offensive standpoint."

So, in short, the Lynx will need to make moves this offseason with the understanding that they'll probably be seeing Griner in the playoffs next year and will require more from their post players offensively.

The Mercury will play the winner of Wednesday's Chicago-Indiana game in the WNBA Finals, though most people believe Phoenix will run through whatever team they eventually play. After seeing them dismantle the Lynx in the fourth last night, I'm inclined to agree.

LaVin-stagram

There isn't much news in Wolves territory at this point, so here's a video of Zach LaVine visiting Mall of America:

"You guys got Legoland!"

Wayne Ellington Update

Most of you probably don't hold high opinions of Wayne Ellington, and I can't blame you, his play for the Wolves left a lot to be desired. But I've always been a fan after he autographed my throwback Wolves hat outside of Huberts before a game about 3 or 4 years ago. I remember telling him to "Make it Wayne tonight" and he nodded his head with a smirk, saying something to the degree of "Ahh, heck yeah." 

I began to pull for him during games and didn't really care if he was mediocre at best.

Anyways, Ellington can't seem to find a team he can stick with these days. He was waived by the Kings this past Sunday, after being traded from the Knicks (the Mavericks also traded him earlier this summer to the Knicks), and will now be a free agent looking for work. One of those NBA teams might be located in South Beach according to Ira Winderman

Maybe Ellington will make it back in the league for a 6th season, maybe he won't. I certainly wish him the best.

That's all I have for you at this point. Have a wonderful Wednesday.