It's been a long time since Mercury players had reason to celebrate long before the final horn, but in the final five minutes of a 112-84 pasting of Charlotte on Thursday night at US Airways Center, the smiles never ceased.
All sorts of team and individual records were rewritten.
The most notable being the 112 points, the second-most in WNBA history, four shy of the mark set earlier this season by Minnesota.
Phoenix (13-16) ran and scored like a coach Paul Westhead team of old, the kind of offensive pyrotechnics originally slated for day one of April training camp.
More importantly, San Antonio's loss Thursday leapfrogged the Mercury up to fifth place in the Western Conference, 2 1/2 games behind the Seattle Storm for the final playoff spot.
Six players scored in double figures — led by Diana Taurasi with 25 points.
The Mercury got a brilliant all-around game from Kelly Miller (16 points, six assists, five rebounds) and career nights from Jennifer Lacy (16 points) and Belinda Snell (14) off the bench. "It was a good exhibition of fast-paced basketball," Westhead said in the understatement of the night.
Players in the locker room noted it wasn't quite how they played on the recent road trip, where a couple of games got away and, combined with nagging injuries, left the Mercury clawing for a postseason berth.
No problem this time.
Leading 55-46 at halftime, seemingly no one in a home jersey could miss. The Mercury shot 67 percent in the second half, including a series of third-quarter layups and free throws which rendered the Sting (9-21) mere witnesses.
It was 85-61 entering the fourth quarter.
"You know Phoenix can score, but they usually don't put it on the floor like that," Charlotte coach Muggsy Bogues said.
But no more picking on the Eastern Conference. Phoenix is 3-12 against the West, which is where the Mercury will play its final five games beginning Saturday night against Los Angeles.
"No peaking yet," Lacy said of the playoff picture.
She then swore she hadn't seen a stat sheet, which showed her making all seven of her shots.
The numbers were all a blur anyway.
"This is our team," forward Kristen Rasmussen said. "This is how we play.”