Griner limited by knee injury in Mercury loss

CHICAGO -- Phoenix center Brittney Griner left the Mercury's first-round playoff game against Chicago early in the second quarter Wednesday night after injuring her left knee, but later returned in the second half.

Griner was setting a screen and was called for an offensive foul. Chicago guard Allie Quigley appeared to have her knee go into the Phoenix center's knee on the play. Griner was helped back to the locker room by Diana Taurasi, who missed the game because of a hamstring injury. Griner had six points, three rebounds and a block before she left with 8 minutes, 18 seconds left in the second quarter.

Griner returned to start the third quarter with a knee brace, playing briefly before going to the bench for good. She finished with the six points, more than 14 below her average.

Chicago used a 12-0 run to start the second half and the fifth-seeded Sky didn't look back, beating the eighth-seeded Mercury 105-76 in the winner-take-all playoff game.

Phoenix had been 6-0 in the single-elimination format since the WNBA changed its playoffs in 2016.

Griner led the league in scoring at 20.7 points per game. She also averaged 7.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game to go along with 62 blocked shots and 22 steals.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.