Maya Moore scored 20 points and Natasha Howard added 17 to help the defending WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx beat the Phoenix Mercury 82-67 on Sunday, completing a three-game sweep of the semifinal series.
The top-seeded Lynx, who also eliminated the Mercury in the penultimate round a year ago, await the winner of Los Angeles-Chicago in their return trip to the WNBA finals.
Diana Taurasi had 12 points, after averaging 26.5 in her first four playoff games this year, as the eighth-seeded Mercury again had trouble with turnovers (15) and shot just 41 percent from the field. Taurasi was held to just one point in the second half, missing her three attempts from the field, all from 3-point range.
Howard had six points during a key third quarter run that saw the Lynx pull away.
SKY 70, SPARKS 66
Courtney Vandersloot scored 17 points and the Sky held off the Sparks to force a Game 4 in the WNBA semifinals.
Imani Boyette added 13 points and Clarissa Dos Santos had 10 for the fourth-seeded Sky, who have been playing without leading scorer and rebounder Elena Delle Donne. The 2015 league MVP underwent right thumb surgery on Sept. 13.
League MVP Nneka Ogwumike had 16 of her 22 points in the first half and Kristi Toliver added 13 for the second-seeded Sparks, who won the first two games of the series at home by double digits.
Two-time MVP Candace Parker shot 3 for 14 from the field for nine points and league sixth woman of the year Jantel Lavender finished with six points for the Sparks.
Game 4 is back Tuesday night.