The Dallas Wings have some heavy road work to do if they are going to make the playoffs for the second time in the last three seasons.
With four games remaining in the regular season, the Wings are tied with the Seattle Storm for the seventh and eighth playoff spots as they head into Uncasville, Conn., to open a three-game road trip against the Connecticut Sun.
And Dallas will have to play Wednesday’s game without Glory Johnson, who had 23 points and 13 rebounds in her team’s 90-86 win over the Atlanta Dream on Saturday. She was also involved in an altercation with Atlanta’s Matee Avajon — Johnson throwing a punch after replays showed Avajon may have twice grabbed her around the throat.
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Johnson took to Instagram to say, “So your telling me . . . #WNBA just suspended ME ONLY for taking two punches to the throat . . . and I swing back with no contact?!? I’ve seen worse, with no Techs or Suspensions. ?? #WNBPA #DoBetter#TreatEveryoneFairly.”
Johnson, who is averaging 14.7 points and 9.1 rebounds and will be sorely missed, was suspended seven games last season for a domestic dispute with then-wife Brittney Griner.
Dallas, which also visits the Washington Mystics and Chicago Sky before closing the season at home against the red-hot New York Liberty, is tied with Seattle with matching 14-16 records but the Storm have the tie-breaker with a 2-1 season series win.
The Sun (19-10, 18-5 since a 1-5 start) secured a home playoff game with a 94-69 win over the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday. They appear to be locked into the No. 3 seed in the overall standings and have been seriously hot at home — where they will now get to play their first playoff game since 2012, in a single elimination game.
“Huge,” Sun coach Curt Miller said after Sunday’s win. “I am so happy for the organization. But with this new format, just because you get in the playoffs doesn’t mean you automatically get to play in front of your home crowd. You can be one-and-done in that seven-eight spot on the road and the excitement of making the playoffs, you don’t even get to enjoy it with your home fans. So tonight, clinching no worse than a top six finish (was huge) …
“I’m excited for our fans. They’ve been patient. They’ve lived through a little bit of a playoff drought. So now, not only are we going to make the playoffs, but we are guaranteed at least a home playoff game. It’s going to be big.”
Jonquel Jones scored 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds, Alyssa Thomas posted 17 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and two steals and Courtney Williams scored 16 points in the rout of the Mercury.
These teams just played each other Aug. 12, when they Sun opened the four-game homestand that ends Wednesday with a 96-66 victory over the Wings, who defeated Connecticut in the game in Dallas.