Mercury weathers up and down road to final four

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PHOENIX (AP) -- The Phoenix Mercury's trip to a third consecutive Western Conference finals wasn't an easy one.

Both league-leading scorer Diana Taurasi (tohr-AH'-see) and Penny Taylor, the team's second-leading scorer, fought off back spasms late in the regular season as Phoenix positioned itself for
another postseason run.

Coach Corey Gaines said Monday that missing key players down the stretch had an effect since the team finished a game behind Seattle and had to travel more in the playoffs.

The playoffs ended for Phoenix on Sunday with a sweep by Minnesota.