Lynx fall to Mercury in final second as McBride scores 25 with 8 3-pointers

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Success from outside the arc wasn’t enough for the Lynx on Friday night.

Minnesota’s Kayla McBride set a career-high with eight 3-pointers and scored 25 points, but Phoenix’s Kahleah Copper hit her own 3 with 0.7 seconds left and the Mercury rallied to beat the Lynx 81-80. Minnesota (7-3) had won three in a row for its best start since winning nine straight to open the 2017 season.

The Lynx made a season-high 15 shots from deep. They entered the game making a league-best 38.6% of their 3-point attempts, nearly 5% better than second-place Las Vegas.

Minnesota finished 38.9% from the field, making only 13 two-point shots. The Lynx hit 15 of 34 from 3 (44.1%) on Friday and had 24 assists on 28 made baskets.

McBride’s converted 3s are the most in the WNBA this season, and her 3 with 3:03 left put the Lynx up 75-69. She’s one of three players to have multiple games of at least six three pointers this season, joining Diana Taurasi (three times) and Arike Ogunbowale (twice).

Alanna Smith converted a feed from Napheesa Collier to make it 79-75 with 25.8 seconds left, but Copper drained a 3 four seconds later to get Phoenix within one.

Bridget Carleton made one of two free throws with 5.3 seconds left for a two-point Lynx lead. But off a timeout, Brittney Griner handed the ball off to Copper, who sank the last of her 34 points from the right side. A desperation three from McBride failed to fall.

Griner was playing in her first game of the season, scoring 11 points with four rebounds.

Collier had her seventh double-double in 10 games with 20 points and 12 rebounds, and she added six assists. Smith had 12 points, six assists and four rebounds.

A trio of 3s keyed an 11-0 Lynx run for a 54-49 lead late in the third quarter: McBride had a couple makes from deep and Collier added the other.

Phoenix made 41.4% of its shots but was only 9 of 26 (34.6%) from 3.

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