Playoff positioning is everything but set-in-stone as the WNBA regular season comes to an end.
The Los Angeles Sparks dismantled the New York Liberty with their passing last night, amassing a season-high 32 dimes in the 96-70 blowout. They become the first franchise to have multiple 30 assist games in team history.
The win was even more impressive without Syndey Wiese (ankle) and Britteny Sykes (abdomen), as five Sparks contributed at least 14 points, with Riquna Williams scoring 20 off the bench.
The Liberty once again proved their consistency by scoring 70 or below for the fifth straight game. In a season where offense has been hard to come by, Jocelyn Willoughby was a bright spot with 21 points and a 5/5 clip from downtown.
In a game with major seeding implications, the Minnesota Lynx blew a fourth-quarter lead to the Washington Mystics, who are putting pressure on the Dallas Wings to lock up the final playoff spot. Myisha Hines-Allen scored 26 with 9 rebounds to, in many people’s minds, lock up the most improved player. Mystics coach Mike Thibault certainly agrees, “She’s worked so hard on both her post game and her three-point shooting…I’m biased but I think she is clearly the most improved player in the league”.
The Lynx loss opens the door for the Phoenix Mercury to take a top-four spot in the playoffs if they continue their hot play, a crucial first-round bye race to watch down the stretch.
Crystal Dangerfield scored 20 for Minnesota as she continues her Rookie of the Year campaign, looking to become the first second-round pick to ever win the award. Her teammate and the reigning ROTY Napheesa Collier led the team with 21.
The Indiana Fever stormed back in the second half, but ultimately fell to the Las Vegas Aces, who were led by 22 points and16 rebounds from future MVP A’ja Wilson, and 17 from Jackie Young, who continues to excel coming off the bench. Wilson’s defensive prowess was also on full display, highlighted by sending a souvenir ball into the fan-less stands.
The Aces maintained a pivotal half-game lead over the Sparks with the win, while the Fever are now an uphill climb away from the playoffs at 2.5 games back.
The WNBA officially announced the playoff TV schedule, which will feature games on ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2.
Phoenix Mercury vs. Connecticut Sun, 7:00 PM ET
Atlanta Dream vs. Chicago Sky, 8:00 PM ET
Dallas Wings vs. Seattle Storm, 10:00 PM ET