It was a tale of two halves for the Phoenix Mercury in Game 1 of the WNBA Semifinals.
The Mercury, led by Brittney Griner, controlled the tempo in the first half. The team only trailed the Los Angeles Sparks once for less than a minute late in second quarter.
At halftime the score was knotted up at 42 points a piece. Griner lead Phoenix with 14 points and Leilani Mitchell followed with 10 points.
Both teams also combined for 25 fouls in the first half of play, a WNBA record.
To begin the second half, the Sparks came out draining baskets and took a 48-42 lead. They contained Phoenix on defense as they only allowed the Mercury to score six points in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Mercury came within 6 points of Los Angeles, but fatigue played a factor and the Sparks started to pull away.
Griner also got into foul trouble and eventually fouled out with 4 minutes left in the game. She ended the night with 18 points and the Mercury would lose Game 1 by a score of 79-66.
Mitchell had another strong performance for Phoenix and lead all Mercury players with 19 points and four assist.
Game 2 of the Semifinals continues on Thursday in Los Angeles.