Johnson downplays matchup with ex-spouse; Lynx atop AP poll
NEW YORK (AP) Glory Johnson knows that a lot of attention will be on her later this week when she and the Dallas Wings square off against her ex-spouse Brittney Griner and the Mercury in Phoenix on Saturday.
The former All-Star said Tuesday before Dallas' game in New York vs. the Liberty that she is just focusing on trying to help her team end its five-game slide and not who her opponent is.
''You know in the back of your mind that that's still there,'' Johnson said of the first meeting Saturday. ''In the end of the day even when we were engaged, I was still playing as aggressive as I do now and still plan on being aggressive. It's going to be an aggressive game. I don't know that I'll be guarding her or she'll be guarding me. But if that does happen that will be the fun part.''
Johnson missed the first seven games of the season after serving a suspension for her domestic violence arrest in 2014. She played in her first game last week - her first WNBA game in 18 months after she missed last season because she was pregnant.
Her relationship with Griner was well documented, from their engagement, to their domestic violence arrest, to their wedding, pregnancy and divorce. It's no surprise that their second meeting in Dallas next Tuesday night will be nationally televised.
''You can't help who you care about and help who you marry,'' she said. ''At the end of the day, everything happens for a reason.''
Dallas coach Fred Williams isn't concerned about the hoopla that may surround Saturday's game.
''I've had conversations with her before the season about the Phoenix game,'' he said. ''She'll be professional about it and play basketball. Two teams playing against each other. It's not about Brittney and Glo. It's about Phoenix and the Wings.''
While Dallas slid down The Associated Press WNBA power poll this week falling to 10th, Phoenix rose up to No. 6.
The top remained the same with Minnesota and Los Angeles still holding down No. 1 and No. 2.
POWER POLL: Minnesota and Los Angeles still are undefeated and looking strong. Phoenix rose to sixth and Seattle to seventh. A look at this week's WNBA poll:
1. Minnesota (10-0): Three games, including a back-to-back presented little challenge to the Lynx. With a win Tuesday against Indiana, they'll surpass their own 10-0 start for best in WNBA history.
2. Los Angeles (9-0): Nneka Ogwumike made 19 of her 22 shots this week, in helping Sparks stay unbeaten. Have tough home tests this week against Chicago and Phoenix.
3. Atlanta (7-3): Everyone contributing for East-leading Dream; Elizabeth Williams has been big factor on defense, leads league in blocked shots.
4. New York (5-4): Finished a three-game road trip with two victories. Have a quick stop at home before three more road games.
5. Chicago (5-5): Had a four-game winning streak end in Phoenix. Difficult travel week with games in LA and Atlanta.
6. Phoenix (4-6): Diana Taurasi averaged nearly 25 points a game this week, had 31 in back to back games and hopes to get Mercury on a roll.
7. Seattle (4-6): Was a few seconds away from sitting at .500 before a late loss to Connecticut. Chemistry between Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd gets better every game.
8. Indiana (4-6): Fever keep battling back from huge deficits before falling short; need to stop digging such big holes.
9. Washington (4-7): Split a pair of games, finally healthy and starting to play more consistently.
10. Dallas (3-6): Good news is the Wings got Skylar Diggins and Glory Johnson back. Bad news is they went 0-2. Try to end five-game skid this week.
11. Connecticut (2-8): Ended a six-game losing streak with last-second win over Seattle and then played Atlanta tough. Hopes three home games this week can get them going.
12. San Antonio (1-7): Lost two more games and fell back into last place in the poll. Doesn't get any easier for the Stars schedule wise with three games this week.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Nneka Ogwumike earned AP player of the week honors after setting a WNBA record by hitting all 12 of her shots in a win over Dallas, then she made her first six attempts against Chicago for a WNBA record 23 consecutive makes. Other players receiving votes were Diana Taurasi and Emma Meesseman.
STAT OF THE WEEK: Five of the 12 teams in the poll were unanimous choices at their spot - Minnesota, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Connecticut and San Antonio.
NBA SALUTE: The league debuted a 30-second promotional ad during the NBA Finals with stars LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Chris Paul paying tribute to the WNBA.
GAME OF THE WEEK: Fever at Lynx, 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday night. A rematch of last season's WNBA Final with Minnesota trying to break its own league record with an 11-0 start to the season. The teams met last month and Indiana cut a 24-point deficit to three before losing.