Storm beat Mercury 80-61 in WNBA playoff opener

Posted: Updated:
By Natalie Rivers By Natalie Rivers

SEATTLE (AP) -- Tanisha Wright scored 21 points, and Camille Little had 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead the defending WNBA champion Seattle Storm over the Phoenix Mercury 80-61 on Thursday night in the opener of the Western Conference semifinals.

Lauren Jackson added 13 points, six rebounds and three blocks for Seattle, which led 69-42 after three quarters. Swin Cash added 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Diana Taurasi, who averaged 21.6 for Phoenix to lead the WNBA in scoring for the fourth straight year, had just 11 points. She shot 3 of 11 from the field, including 1 of 5 on 3-pointers. Penny Taylor scored 13, and DeWanna Bonner added 10 -- all in the first half -- to lead the Mercury.

Phoenix will host Game 2 of the best-of-three series on Saturday.

In the meantime, Phoenix's DeWanna Bonner has been picked the WBNA's sixth woman of the year for the third straight season