Aces spoil Sue Bird’s regular season home finale
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SEATTLE (AP) — A’ja Wilson scored 29 points, Kelsey Plum added 16 including a key 3-pointer in the final minute, and the Las Vegas Aces spoiled the final regular season home game for Sue Bird beating the Seattle Storm 89-81 on Sunday.
The largest crowd in Storm history packed Climate Pledge Arena to thank Bird for her two decades as the face of the franchise and one of the best women’s basketball players ever.
But the Aces weren’t willing to play their part in ensuring Bird’s finale was a win. Wilson dominated the first three quarters, Chelsea Gray and Jackie Young both scored 15 and the Aces never trailed the final 28 minutes.
Breanna Stewart finished with a season-high 35 points and Tina Charles added 19. Bird finished with nine points, six assists and four rebounds, but the result was much like the first game she played in Seattle 20 years ago — a defeat.
SKY 94, SUN 91
CHICAGO (AP) — Candace Parker scored 18 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and tipped a pass to Emma Meesseman for a 3-pointer in the closing seconds to help the Sky beat the Sun to set the franchise record for wins in a season.
Courtney Vandersloot had 20 points, five assists and four steals for Chicago (25-8). Meesseman and Allie Quigley added 15 points apiece and Kahleah Copper scored 11.
Jonquel Jones had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Connecticut (22-11), which was missing head coach Curt Miller who was spending time with his family after his mom Bev died earlier this week.
SPARKS 79, MYSTICS 76
WASHINGTON (AP) — Brittney Sykes scored 21 points. including a driving layup in the closing seconds, and the Sparks kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a win over the Mystics.
Los Angeles (13-20), which snapped a six-game losing streak, are one of five teams within two games of each other vying for the final two postseason berths. The Sparks are 1 1/2 games back of seventh-place Atlanta (14-18) and a game behind Phoenix (14-19) for the final playoff spot with a week left in the regular season.
Washington is in a battle with Seattle for the fourth spot. The Mystics trail by a half-game with two games left.
Nneka Ogwumike and Katie Lou Samuelson scored 15 points apiece for the Sparks. Jordin Canada added 11 points and a career-high tying 12 assists and Lexie Brown scored 10 points.
LYNX 81, DREAM 71
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Napheesa Collier made her season debut for Minnesota, Kayla McBride scored 20 points and the Lynx used a fourth-quarter run to beat the Dream to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Collier, Minnesota’s leading scorer (16.2 per game) last season, played for the first time since she gave birth to her daughter, Mila, in late May. The 2019 WNBA Rookie of the Year finished with six points in 21 minutes.
Atlanta (14-19) fell into a tie with the Phoenix Mercury for the eighth, and final, playoff spot with a week remaining in the regular season — a half-game ahead of the New York Liberty (13-19) and a game in front of Minnesota (13-20) and the Los Angeles Sparks (13-20).
Aari McDonald and Rhyne Howard scored 16 points apiece for Atlanta and Cheyenne Parker added 12 points — all in the first half. Caldwell and Naz Hillmon each scored 10 points.
More AP women’s basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports