The plot thickens in three-team race for the 8th seed
The Los Angeles Sparks had been on a roll before they ran into a highly motivated Mystics squad. Myisha Hines-Allen impressed once again dropping 30 (!!!) on one of the best defensive teams in the league. It was a massive win for Washington, who at 7-13 are now tied with Dallas for the final playoff spot.
Washington has games against New York and Atlanta, while Dallas finishes the season against Chicago and New York. Both teams have winnable games down the stretch, although the Wings will be without Satou Sabally against the Sky as she remains in concussion protocol.
The loss is devastating for the Sparks’ chance at a double-bye. While there is still a slim probability, they no longer control their own destiny. Both Chelsea Gray and Candace Parker took responsibility for coming our flat in the second half, saying, “I think I could have played better defense” and “I take the blame for this” respectively, via Sparks reporter John Davis.
Minnesota put up an impressive 89 spot on a usually stout Las Vegas defense. The only problem was that they allowed 104. Crystal Dangerfield did Crystal Dangerfield things en route to her 7th 20-point game of the year. She ranks 12th in offensive win shares, an impressive season for the rookie out of UConn. The loss opens the door even wider for an already hungry Phoenix Mercury team to take the 4 seed.
Las Vegas kept their two-seed positioning with the win, building momentum for the weekend showdown with the Los Angeles Sparks that could be the difference-maker. Angel McCoughtry, A’ja Wilson, and Kayla McBride all eclipsed 20 for the Aces, who have enough offensive weapons that coach Bill Laimbeer can pick and choose who gets to lead the team in scoring every night.
The New York Liberty and Indiana Fever participated in the first 2021 preseason game, as both have been eliminated from postseason contention. The Liberty continued their game of “which young star will play well tonight”, with 21 points from second-year guard Paris Kea. Kia Nurse added 18 in the loss.
Indiana was led by Candice Dupree’s 22 points and 18 from Kelsey Mitchell. The biggest goal for the Fever next year will be staying healthy, as they have had many key players out for multiple games at a time. They will also get 2019 All-Star Erica Wheeler back next season, a vital part of their future.
With the Chicago Sky and Connecticut Sun locked into their postseason matchup, the final regular season weekend will be as much about pride as it is securing individual player accolades. Look out for Courtney Vandersloot and Alyssa Thomas to make last-minute pushes for the MVP and Defensive Player of the Year Awards.
Atlanta Dream vs. Connecticut Sun, 7:00 PM ET
Chicago Sky vs. Dallas Wings, 8:00 PM ET
Seattle Storm vs. Phoenix Mercury, 10:00 PM ET