Cloud hits winner at buzzer, Mystics top Sparks 69-67
WASHINGTON (AP) — Natasha Cloud made a fade-away jumper just before the buzzer to give the Washington Mystics a 69-67 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks on Friday night for their eighth straight victory.
Washington (22-11) is in a second-place tie with Atlanta, which lost to the Phoenix Mercury 104-95. The Dream play at Las Vegas on Sunday, and the Mystics face Minnesota. The top-two seeds receive a double-bye.
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 Washington with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Kristi Toliver added 12 points, and Aerial Powers had 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Mystics had already clinched a top-four seed.
Powers made a wide-open 3-pointer to tie it at 67 with 3:21 to go and neither team would score again Cloud’s heroics.
Riquna Williams scored 14 points for Los Angeles (19-14), which will play a first-round game next week. Candace Parker had 13 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Los Angeles opened the game by scoring 13 of the first 15 points.