The three-time WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury earned a spot in another win-or-go-home single-elimination showdown, this time on Saturday at 4 p.m. Phoenix time against the New York Liberty at Madison Square Garden. Phoenix earned the second-round berth by virtue of an 89-78 win over the Indiana Fever in the opening round of the 2016 WNBA Playoffs on Wednesday. Phoenix’s second-round date with the Liberty will air on NBATV and ESPN3.
In Round 2 of the 2016 WNBA Playoffs, the eighth-seeded Mercury and third-seeded Liberty meet, while either the the sixth-seeded Atlanta Dream or seventh-seeded Storm will travel to Chicago to take on the fourth-seeded Sky. The winners of these games will advance to play in the best-of-five semifinals against either top-seeded Minnesota or second-seeded Los Angeles. Should Phoenix beat New York, the Mercury will take on the Lynx in the best-of-five semifinal round regardless of the other quarterfinal result in Chicago.
Phoenix squared-off with the Liberty in New York twice during the regular season, splitting the two contests. The Mercury came away with a 104-97 overtime win at The Garden on June 26, but fell to New York earlier this month, 92-70. Both original members of the 20-year-old WNBA, Phoenix and New York have met just once in the playoffs, an Aug. 28, 1997, win by the Liberty in the league’s inaugural postseason.