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Crystal Dangerfield's fourth quarter rallies Lynx over Mercury

The Lynx advance to the semifinals of the WNBA playoffs.

Crystal Dangerfield scored nine of her 17 points in the fourth quarter as the Minnesota Lynx rallied to defeat the Phoenix Mercury 80-79 and advance to the semifinals of the WNBA Playoffs.

The Lynx got off to a rough start falling behind the Mercury by 12 points early in the first quarter but wound up clawing their way back to stay within striking distance. 

Although Sylvia Fowles was shut down by the Phoenix defense with just six points on the night, Damiris Dantas helped pick up the slack with 22 points and eight rebounds and the Lynx went into the locker room down 46-37 at halftime.

The third quarter saw the Mercury hold off the Lynx momentarily. Phoenix was led by Diana Taurasi, who scored 28 points and nine assists, but the Lynx rally began thanks to the reigning WNBA Rookie of the Year.

Hours after learning that she had won the award, Dangerfield took over as the Lynx went on a 10-3 run after tying the game at 64. 

In the closing moments of the game, Napheesa Collier came up with a key block on Brianna Turner and a desperation shot at the buzzer by Skylar Diggins-Smith came up short to help the Lynx advance.

The Lynx will now face either the top-seeded Las Vegas Aces or second-seeded Seattle Storm in the WNBA semifinals. Their opponent will be determined by Thursday night's second-round matchup between the Connecticut Sun and Los Angeles Sparks.

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