NEW YORK -- Phoenix coach Sandy Brondello hasnt always loved the WNBAs new knockout playoff format. But its safe to say she has come around on it.The Mercury, inconsistent for much of the regular season, beat New York 101-94 in an elimination game Saturday to advance to the WNBA semifinals against Minnesota.?That isnt bad for a team that finished the regular season two games below .500.I was a little critical of the knockout games, but I kind of like it right now, Brondello said.Veteran Diana Taurasi led the way for Phoenix, just as she did Wednesday in the Mercurys first-round, elimination-game win over Indiana.Taurasi had a game-high 30 points on 9-for-17 shooting to lift Phoenix. But it wasnt just the point total; it was when Taurasi scored that mattered most Saturday.With Phoenix up two and 6:40 to play, Taurasi scored five straight points to spur an 8-2 run. Five minutes later, the Mercury led by just four. But Taurasi put the game away by hitting a contested 3-pointer.That prompted this statement from Brondello: Diana Taurasi, shes the GOAT [greatest of all time]. Its always great to have her on your team.Is it ever. Saturday was just the latest example of Taurasi lifting her team in an elimination game.She scored 14 of her game-high 20 points in the second half of the Mercurys win over the Indiana Fever on Wednesday. That gave her a 12-3 career record in WNBA elimination games. Saturday was win No. 13.I just think its the mindset that the teams Ive been on have had, Taurasi said. These moments, weve never shied away from.Taurasi, understandably, doesnt want to talk about her own exploits. But her performance in win-or-go-home scenarios has been remarkable. According to WNBA.com, Taurasi averages 23 points on better than 48 percent shooting in such situations. If you include her Olympic and NCAA career, Taurasi has a 43-3 record in elimination games.Thats why I say shes the best player in the world, Brondelo said. Shes such an unselfish player, but her determination to win in those big moments exceeds anyone else Ive ever seen.Taurasi didnt do it all by herself on Saturday, of course. Brittney Griner was fantastic, scoring 22 points with 10 rebounds and five assists, and Penny Taylor added 22 points. It was the kind of game that many expected from Phoenix over the course of the season.But the Mercury struggled with consistency and clinched the eighth and final WNBA playoff seed with a disappointing 16-18 regular-season record.We had some good individual performances, Brondello said, but we were just inconsistent in putting it together for one night.The Mercury have now put it together for two nights when it mattered most. But for the Liberty, it was a sudden end to another successful regular season.New York finished with the third-best record in the WNBA, but thanks to the leagues new playoff format, which awards the top two seeds byes into the best-of-five semifinals, the Liberty played in an elimination game rather than a full series.They worked all year long to give themselves an opportunity, and tonight it just didnt get done, Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer said.Tina Charles finished with 19 points and nine rebounds on Saturday, looking every bit the MVP candidate who carried New York for most of the season. But the Liberty failed to execute late in the fourth quarter, and Taurasi seemed to thrive.Diana was Diana, Charles said.On Saturday, that meant Taurasi was at her best when her team needed her most. Those who have watched her long enough shouldnt be surprised. Cheap Soccer Jerseys China . 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The 20-year-old Pelicans big man glanced up and smiled widely at the well-wishers -- a fitting end to a day he wont soon forget. Davis responded to his selection earlier in the day as a Western Conference All-Star with 26 points and 10 rebounds, and the New Orleans Pelicans overcame a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves 98-91 on Friday night. DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins safety Reshad Jones will miss the rest of the season because of a shoulder injury suffered in Sundays win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.Jones, who was selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time in 2015, was ruled out for the year Wednesday after receiving a second opinion on the injury. Its a big blow for a defense ranked 26th in the league.Nobody can replace the talent, teammate Michael Thomas said.Thomas will likely move into Jones spot in the starting lineup, with Walt Aikens also assuming a more prominent role.Well go through this week of practice and kind of figure out what our best personnel package will be back there, coach Adam Gase said.dddddddddddd We have a lot of moving pieces as far as what we like do with defensive packages.Jones hasnt missed a game because of injury in the past five seasons. He led the Dolphins and all NFL defensive backs last year with 106 solo tackles, and has 31 this season.His absence further depletes a secondary already without rookie starting cornerback Xavien Howard because of a knee injury.---AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL ' ' '