Cloud hiys jumper at buzzer, Mystics beat Sparks
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Elizabeth Cambage had 43 points and 13 rebounds and the Dallas Wings beat the Las Vegas Aces 107-102 on Friday night to clinch the final WNBA playoff spot and end a nine-game losing streak.
It ended a turbulent stretch for Dallas, giving interim coach Taj McWilliams-Franklin her first victory. The Wings hadn’t won since July 19, leading to the firing of coach Fred Williams on Sunday.
Skylar Diggins-Smith drove the lane and made a contested layup to give Dallas a 102-97 lead and after a Las Vegas miss, Cambage converted a three-point play. Las Vegas turned it over and Dallas wound down the clock before Diggins-Smith made two free throws for a 10-point lead.
Diggins-Smith had 23 points and eight assists for Dallas (15-18). Cambage had 23 points and seven rebounds in the first half and she scored her 40th point on a layup with 3:38 to go for a 98-93 lead.
A’ja Wilson scored 34 points for Las Vegas (14-19). Kelsey Plum added 20 points, hitting four 3-pointers.
Wilson scored 19 points in the first half on 9-of-11 shooting to help Las Vegas build a 57-51 lead.
STORM 85, LIBERTY 77
SEATTLE (AP) — Breanna Stewart had 22 points and 15 rebounds and Seattle beat New York to secure the top seed in the WNBA playoffs.
Seattle (25-8) has won 15 of its last 18 games and has home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.
Sue Bird had 13 points and six assists for Seattle. The Storm set the WNBA single-season record for 3-pointers with its 284th, passing Phoenix’s total from 2007.
Tina Charles scored 21 points for New York (7-26). The Liberty have lost 12 straight.
MERCURY 104, DREAM 95
PHOENIX (AP) — Brittney Griner had 33 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocks, and Diana Taurasi added 27 points and a career-high-tying 14 assists to help Phoenix beat Atlanta.
Phoenix (19-14) clinched a first-round home game in the playoffs. Atlanta (22-11) is tied for second place with Washington. The Dream play at Las Vegas on Sunday, and the Mystics close the season at Minnesota. The top-two seeds receive a double-bye in the playoffs.
DeWanna Bonner added 21 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists for Phoenix. Alex Bentley made a career-high six 3-pointers and scored 24 points for Atlanta.
MYSTICS 69, SPARKS 67
WASHINGTON (AP) — Natasha Cloud made a fade-away jumper just before the buzzer to lift Washington past Los Angeles for the Mystics eighth straight victory.
Cloud took an inbounds pass with 3.8 seconds left, dribbled to the free-throw line, went behind her back and sank the winner. She was 1 of 10 from the floor before her first winner.
Elena Delle Donne led third-place Washington (22-11) with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Kristi Toliver added 12 points, and Aerial Powers had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Riquna Williams scored 14 points for Los Angeles (19-14).
SUN 96, LYNX 79
UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) — Jonquel Jones made five 3-points and scored 26 points, Alyssa Thomas had 18 points, eight rebounds and eight assists and Connecticut beat Minnesota.
Connecticut (20-13), winners of eight of nine, secured a first-round bye with the victory and Los Angeles’ loss at Washington. The Sun moved one-game ahead of fifth-place Los Angeles, with the teams meeting on Sunday in the regular-season finale. Connecticut holds the tiebreaker.
Layshia Clarendon added 14 points for Connecticut.
Sylvia Fowles had 25 points and eight rebounds for Minnesota (17-16).