The WNBA playoff picture goes back to the last day. All 12 teams play on Sunday in the regular season finals and all but two teams have a chance at the post-season berth.
Here’s what’s at stake for Sunday. This post will be updated throughout the day with results and seeds. The playoffs begin on Wednesday in the new best of three first-round format.
WNBA schedule for Sunday
Wings at Sparks, 7 p.m., WNBA League Pass
Rankings as of 7 PM ET. seed, team, score, x – playoff berth decisiveness, o – eliminated, running – closed
No. 1 Las Vegas Aces (26-10), x
No. 2 Chicago Sky (26-10), 10th
No. 3 Connecticut Sun (25-10), 10th
No. 4 Seattle Storm (22-14), x
No. 5 Washington Mystics (21-14), x
No. 6 Dallas Wings (17-18), x
No. 7 New York Liberty (16-20), x
No. 8 Phoenix Mercury (15-21), tenth
No. 9 Atlanta Dream (14-22), or
No. 10 Minnesota Linux (14-22), or
No. 11 Los Angeles Sparks (13-22), S
No. 12 Indiana Fever (5-30), Q
The first-round qualifier pairs are 1 vs 8 and 4 vs 5 (winners play each other in the top five matches of the semi-finals); 2 vs 7 and 3 vs 6 (semi-final winners).
Aces clinch the #1 seed
The Las Vegas Aces snatched the top seed in the 2022 WNBA Qualifiers with a 109-100 victory over the Seattle Storm in a crowd at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas. The Chicago Sky Championship title holder will be the second seed.
Storm is already booked into fourth, but you still have something to play for in the end. There is no redistribution in the new match format, so purists #4 and Storm One are now on the same side of the arc. They could meet in the top five of the semi-finals. The Aces won the season series, 3-1.
Keah Stokes and Aja Wilson blocked back-to-back attempts in the last minute and Kelsey Bloom used a three-pointer to make it 101-95. It was all on the slopes for the best attack in the league out there.
Aces point guard Chelsea Gray scored 33 points (10 of 15) with nine assists and seven rebounds. Jewel Lloyd scored a career high of 38 points, after 13 of 23 overall and 8 for 14 of run, on the other side of the storm.
Wilson (25 points, 10 rebounds, five assists) and Kelsey Bloom (23 points, 4 out of 9 3 points) became the first duo in WNBA history to score 700 points each in a single season. The schedule has been expanded to 36 games this season and will move to 40 next year.
ESPN’s Holly Rowe reports that Jackie Young, the leading candidate for Most Improved Player, missed the start of the second half while dealing with an illness unrelated to COVID. Young came back and had one bucket with five rebounds, four assists and three steals in a total of 25 minutes.
Aces without Derica Hamby, the two-time Sixth Player of the Year who moved to the starting line-up under first-year coach Becky Hammon. She’s dealing with a bone bruise in her knee that can keep her out for up to a month.
This was Sue Bird’s last regular season game and she reached 1,000 career three-pointers. Bird and former UConn teammate Diana Torassi (1,297) are the only two players in league history to reach the goal. It was also Storm Ranger’s last regular season contest in January.
Mercury’s loss places them in eighth place, behind Liberty
Defending champion Chicago Sky finished the season well with a victory over Phoenix Mercury 82-67 At the Footprint Center in Phoenix. Mercury secured a place in the playoffs earlier in the day with Lynx losing but they were playing for a better seed that would have meant a top three against Sky this week.
Sky is already booked into the No. 2 seed after winning an aces. Phoenix’s loss kept them in eighth place, behind New York Liberty. They will face the Aces in the first round, the best of the three in Las Vegas. The Sky will play Liberty in Chicago.
Chicago leads 15-8 in one dimension and 39-25 in half. Sky’s 24 point margin was heading into the fourth quarter. Courtney Vanderslott fell in the third quarter and appeared to be in pain. She returned to the seat and was on the stationary bike. The newbies mostly sat along the path as the sky continued to move the fringes.
Azura Stevens came off the bench to lead Chicago with 17 points. Record each player. Jenny Sims (12), Megan Gustafson (12), Diamond Deshilds (11) and Kayla Davis (11) led Mercury’s offensive.
Phoenix does not have three of their stars – in fact, four – of their stars. Britney Greiner is still detained in Russia. Tina Charles and Mercury agreed to divorce the contract (basically a purchase) weeks ago.
Diana Torassi exited the quartet dynasty, but remained on the bench with the team. The team announced on Thursday that Skyler Diggins Smith will miss the final Two games of the regular season for personal reasons. She was placed on the suspended list and cannot return this season.
Taurasi, Griner and Diggins-Smith were honored before the game by USA Basketball for the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo last summer. The Griner ring was accepted by Taurasi and Diggins-Smith’s by her mother.
Sophie Cunningham straightened her ankle, but continued playing, Kayla Davis was also affected An obvious injury to the right knee in the third quarter. Davis had to be helped out of court.
Liberty snatches the place in the final
The New York Liberty returned in the post-season with a 87-83 victory over the Atlanta Dream at home at Barclays Center on Sunday. This is the 17th time in 26 seasons that Liberty has been in the postseason and the second in a row after being away for three years.
Natasha Howard hit a triple pointer from the corner to make it a four-point game with less than a minute left. This came in a series of beautiful passes on the ocean, which began with information from Stephanie Dolson and the attacking rebound of Betnia Lani.
Dream’s second-year goalkeeper Ari MacDonald cut the difference to two on a trip to the basket, and Erica Wheeler’s 24.8-second foul put Sabrina Ionescu on the goal line for the first time in the game. I hit both to hit 85-81. The Wheeler 3 pointer bounced off the edge and Howard secured the rebound and position in the playoffs. Her two free throws gave the final score.
Howard scored 18 points (5 of 8) with nine rebounds, three assists, one steal and a block. Stephanie Dolson scored 15 points and 12 rebounds. Marin Johannes scored 18 points and came close to the 3-second franchise record in the match. She was 6 of 8 behind the bow.
By the third quarter at Barclays, there was only one place left to grab. Lynx’s loss secured berth for Phoenix Mercury and left Liberty and Dream to decide the latter.
Liberty has struggled for health all season and has barely had any competitions with every available player. Laney, Howard and Dade Richards lost some time during Sandy Brundello’s first season as head coach.
Dream underwent an off-season rebuild both in the front office and on the menu. Atlanta hired Tanisha Wright as head coach and she was replaced by taking Ryan Howard in Kentucky with the first pick in the draft. Howard Dream led with 24 points and seven assists. She was 5 out of 12 out of a 3-point range.
WNBA Commissioner Kathy Engelbert and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver were at Barclays to watch the game.
Lynx was eliminated from the feud in the play-off
Sylvia Fowles’ 15-year career will not include the playoffs after eliminating the Minnesota Links in a 90-83 loss to the Connecticut Sun at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut on Sunday. The loss secured a place for Mercury at No. 7 or No. 8. It’s the first time since 2010 that Lynx has missed a post-season phase.
Fowles came out for the last time to standing ovations and hugged every Lynx coach and player off the bench. The 6-foot-6 center was lifted by the mic, occasionally capturing her praises of her “I Love You” teammates. Mama Seal embraced the Sun players one by one when the hour was up.
Lynx (14-22) made a late push to the playoffs and with two games left he jumped to seed No. 7. But they were blown away by the Seattle Storm, which closed in on the No. 4 seed, Friday night and didn’t perform much better against the Sun (25-11). Lynx needed to win and help get somewhere.
Fowls who was honored in Minnesota for her last home game, I hit 4,000 rebounds at the start of the competition. She is the only player in WNBA history to reach this level and retire with an all-time bounce record (4007). The two-time WNBA champion and two-time Finalist Player is also the league leader in doubles with a 193rd place finish in her career. Fowles played 409 career games with the Chicago Sky and Lynx and leads both the franchise’s bounceback record.
She didn’t hit a field goal until the second half and finished her last game with 10 points and 12 double rebounds. The Lynx struggled to bounce back early and let the Sun shoot 52.9%. Sun entered the competition confined to seed No. 3.
Lynx trailed by as much as 19 late in the third quarter and tied within six, prompting Sun coach, Kurt Miller, to send his starts again in the remaining 3:43. The lynx couldn’t get close enough.
The WNBA has decided the scenarios for the final match, starting on Sunday morning
seed number 1 and seed number 2
The Las Vegas Aces He could clinch the top seed and home field advantage during the playoffs by defeating Storm in the late afternoon window on ABC. They are 2-1 against Seattle. He can also grab her aces with a loss from No. 2 Heaven and No. 3 Sun.
The Chicago Sky He could take the lead by defeating Phoenix Mercury with an Aces losing, or with Aces losing and Sun winning. (via WNBA)
if there was Triple tie at the top With Sky, Sun and Aces all at 25-11, then head-to-head scores split, in order by WNBA, Sky (5-2), Aces (4-2) and Sun (1-6).
in the middle
No. 3 – Connecticut Sun | Even in a tie, the Sun has the worst record against the Sky and the Aces with just one win. They will host the No. 6 Dallas Wings starting with Game 1 on Thursday (8PM ET, ESPNU).
No. 4 – Seattle Storm | Seattle maintained its position by defeating Lynx on Friday night and will play the Mystics. The first two games begin in Seattle with Game One on Thursday (10 p.m. EDT/ESPN2).
No. 5 – Sophie Washington | If the mystics impose a 3 game, you will return to the zone. They are 1-2 against the storm this season.
No. 6 – Dallas Suites | The wings can also host a pivotal 3 game if you get that far. They are 2-1 against the sun. Arike Ogunbowale will miss the entire first round series.
Last colon (No. 7, 8)
Mercury and Liberty each control their own paths to the post-season, while Lynx and Dream will need to win and help.
to me Phoenix Mercury To enter, all they have to do is beat the sky. They both lost to Chicago. Lynx’s loss also puts them in the playoffs.
The New York Liberty He could clinch a playoff spot by beating the Atlanta Dream (2-1). Or Mercury win, or Lynx lose.
The Minnesota Linux He could move to the playoffs with a victory over the Sun and a loss by Mercury or Liberty.
The Atlanta Dream He could move into the playoffs with a victory over Liberty and a loss for Mercury.
If things play for tie Among all four teams at the bottom of the standings (15-21), the two teams that score the best head-to-head will go into the playoffs. Breakdown by WNBA: Lynx (8-2), Dream (5-5), Liberty (4-6), Mercury (3-7).
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