Saturday, August 31, 2013
ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Sylvia Fowles scored 18 points to help the Chicago Sky beat the Atlanta Dream 85-68 on Saturday night and clinch home-court advantage through the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Elena Delle Donne added 15 and Tamera Young chipped in with 12 for Chicago (21-8), which will be the top seed in the East in the eight-year franchise's first postseason appearance. The Sky won its sixth straight to remain one game behind West-leading Minnesota for the league's best record.
Rookie Alex Bentley scored a career-high 19 points to lead Atlanta (14-13), which has dropped four straight after a three-game winning streak. The Dream's lead over third-place Washington was cut to a half-game.
Angel McCoughtry, the league's leading scorer, didn't start for Atlanta due to an injured right ankle, but finished with 17 points.
Chicago led by one point at halftime before pulling away by outscoring Atlanta 30-11 in the third quarter.
SPARKS 80, SILVER STARS 67
SAN ANTONIO -- Nneka Ogwumike had 19 points and 10 rebounds, Candace Parker had 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Los Angeles beat San Antonio.
Kristi Toliver added 15 points and seven assists for Los Angeles (21-8), which remained a game behind Minnesota for the top seed in the Western Conference.
Jia Perkins had 25 points, including 15 in the second half, for San Antonio (11-19). Jayne Appel had 10 points and 12 rebounds and Danielle Adams added 10 points.
The Silver Stars' loss clinched a playoff spot for fourth-place Seattle, which has a four-game lead over San Antonio with four games remaining for both teams, but holds the tiebreaker between the teams.
LYNX 97, STORM 74
MINNEAPOLIS -- Maya Moore scored 25 of her 30 points in the first half to help Minnesota cruise past Seattle.
Seimone Augustus had 16 points for Minnesota (22-7), while rookie Rachel Jarry had a career-high 14. Lindsay Whalen added 12 points and Monica Wright had 10. Moore shot 12 for 15 from the field to reach 30 points for the second time in her career. She had 35 against Indiana last Saturday.
Tina Thompson tied a season high with five 3-pointers en route to a team-high 18 points as the Storm (15-15) lost for just the second time in seven games. Temeka Johnson had 16 points and Tanisha Wright added 11.
Despite the defeat, Seattle clinched a Western Conference playoff berth with San Antonio's loss to Los Angeles.
MERCURY 76, SUN 68
PHOENIX -- Candice Dupree and DeWanna Bonner each scored 22 points as Phoenix handed Connecticut its seventh straight loss.
The Mercury (15-13) outscored the Sun 14-4 over the final 4½ minutes to earn their fifth win in seven games under interim coach Russ Pennell.
Tina Charles had 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Sun (7-22), who were eliminated from the playoff race with the loss.
Brittney Griner had two baskets in the first 90 seconds but didn't score again until making a key short turnaround jumper with 1:31 left to give Phoenix a 71-66 lead. She finished with six points and eight rebounds.
Dupree added nine rebounds while Diana Taurasi had 10 points and eight assists for Phoenix, which will clinch a playoff berth with its next win or a San Antonio loss.