PHOENIX (AP) Brittney Griner scored 19 points to help the Phoenix Mercury beat the Los Angeles Sparks 76-69 Saturday night, tying the WNBA record for wins.
Griner shot 8 for 13 from the field one day after news broke of her engagement to Tulsa Shock star Glory Johnson. Griner also had two blocks, increasing her single-season league record to 127.
The Mercury (28-5), who close the regular season at Seattle on Sunday night, matched the wins mark accomplished previously by Los Angeles in 2000 and 2001, and the Storm in 2010. Phoenix also extended its franchise-record home winning streak to 15 games.
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Sparks All-Star Candace Parker did not play after scoring 24 points Friday night against Seattle.
Jantel Lavender led Los Angeles (16-18) with 22 points. The Sparks, third in the Western Conference, can drop to the No. 4 seed if San Antonio beats Chicago on Sunday in its finale.
FEVER 71, SKY 67
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Tamika Catchings scored 25 points and Briann January added 14 to help Indiana secure the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Indiana (16-17) shot 66.7 percent during the first quarter to take a 32-16 lead after the opening period. It marked the highest first quarter point total for the Fever this season. The Sky then outscored Indiana 36-22 during the second and third quarters and cut the Fever’s lead to 69-67 with 36 seconds to play.
However, Catchings made two free throws with 14 seconds remaining to make it a two-possession lead.
Allie Quigley scored 17 points to lead Chicago (15-18), and Elena Delle Donne added 14 points and rebounds. The Sky remained a half-game behind Washington for third-place in the East and can get the No. 3 seed with a win against San Antonio on Sunday.
LIBERTY 73 MYSTICS 61
WASHINGTON (AP) – Plenette Pierson scored 20 points to help New York snap a three-game losing streak and hamper Washington’s playoff seeding.
Ivory Latta scored 15 points for the Mystics (16-18), who they needed a victory in its season finale plus additional help for a chance at getting the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and home-court advantage in the opening round.
However, Washington’s loss and Indiana’s 71-67 win over Chicago clinched the second seed for the Fever. The Mystics can drop to No. 4 if the Sky beat San Antonio in their season finale on Sunday.
The Liberty (14-19) did not commit a turnover in the first half, led by 16 at halftime and 60-40 in the third quarter.
LYNX 80, SHOCK 63
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Maya Moore had 19 points and 12 rebounds to help defending champion Minnesota snap a three-game losing streak.
Seimone Augustus added 14 points to help Minnesota (25-9) become the first team in WNBA history to have at least 25 wins in four consecutive seasons. The Lynx trailed 61-59 early in the fourth quarter before going on a 19-0 run to put the game away.
Minnesota, the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, will open the playoffs at home on Thursday night against Los Angeles or San Antonio.
Odyssey Sims scored 31 points to lead Tulsa (12-22). She hit a 3-pointer with 9:41 to play, and the Shock didn’t make score again until 1:14 remained in the game. Tulsa was outscored 21-5 in the fourth quarter.