ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) Danielle Adams led a balanced offense as the San Antonio Stars secured the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
Adams had 18 points and 11 rebounds to help the Stars beat the Chicago Sky 84-72 in the regular-season finale for both teams Sunday. San Antonio will face defending champion Minnesota in the first round of the postseason.
”What I like is that I feel we’ve got a little rhythm going into the playoffs, we’ll take some time and get ready,” said San Antonio coach Dan Hughes. ”But they’re just awfully good. Minnesota is an exceptional basketball team.”
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The Stars (16-18) and Sky had already clinched playoff berths, and each team had a chance to improve its seeding, but Chicago opted to rest three regulars: Elena Delle Donne, Sylvia Fowles and Epiphanny Prince.
However, But 16-year veteran Becky Hammon was on the court for the Stars in her final regular-season WNBA game. She had four assists in 10 minutes as San Antonio avoided a first-round matchup with league-best Phoenix.
Jia Perkins scored 13 points while Shenise Johnson and Kayla McBride each added 12 for San Antonio.
Courtney Clements led Chicago (15-19) with 17 points, while Allie Quigley added 16.
San Antonio tied with Los Angeles for third in the Western Conference but earned the No. 3 seed by winning three of four in the season series. The Lynx won four of five against the Stars in the regular season and the teams will open their playoff series Thursday night in Minnesota.
The Sky finished fourth in the Eastern Conference after dropping their last two games and will face top-seeded Atlanta (19-15) in the opener of their series on Friday night.
”Throughout all our adversities we’re starting the second season – the championship season – 0-0,” said Chicago coach Pokey Chatman, who had four starters out at various times this season. ”At a time that we need it most they’ll all be playing together and that should infuse them with some energy, excitement and enthusiasm”
The Stars led 22-21 after one quarter after outscoring the Sky 8-2 in the final 2:02. San Antonio opened the second period with seven consecutive points and went on to a 35-23 advantage less than 4 minutes in after Jia Perkins’ fast-break layup.
Adams scored 12 points as the Stars led 51-35 at the break. San Antonio maintained a double digit lead through the third quarter, leading 65-54 entering the final 10 minutes.
Hammon, a six-time WBNA All-Star, is retiring after 16 seasons. The 37-year-old guard was hired as an assistant coach with the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs earlier this month.
But her WNBA career continues as long as the Stars remain alive in the playoffs.
”We’ve been playing well this last week or so and we’ve been playing solid basketball going into the playoffs,” Hammon said. ”I think that’s the bigger picture.”