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Lynx collapse late in Game 3 loss to Phoenix, ousted from playoffs

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The Minnesota Lynx have come up short of a fourth straight WNBA Finals appearance. The Lynx fell to Phoenix in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals Tuesday night, 96-78.

The Lynx dug themselves a hole in the first half as they trailed 50-42 at the break, but another Minnesota comeback made things interesting in the third. Seimone Augustus led the Lynx back as they evened the score at 67 late in the third quarter.

However, Phoenix's Diana Taurasi hit a buzzer-beater from beyond half court as the third quarter ended to change the momentum of the game and give the Mercury a 72-67 lead heading into the fourth.

Taurasi then hit another three early in the fourth to push the Mercury lead back to eight points, but the run didn't stop there.

The Lynx were 0-for-11 during that 18-0 run for Phoenix at the start of the fourth quarter.

Taurasi scored a game-high 31 points and added seven assists and five rebounds to lead the Mercury to the victory. Brittney Griner added 22 points on an efficient 9-of-12 from the floor.

Augustus led the Lynx with 21 points, while Lindsay Whalen added 20. MVP Maya Moore had 16 points, but was largely held in check by Phoenix as she was just 6-of-14 from the floor.

Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve was ejected late in the game.

Phoenix handed the Lynx six of their nine losses on the season. The Mercury were 4-1 against Minnesota during the regular season and took two-of-three against the Lynx to secure their spot in the WNBA Finals.

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