Phoenix tops Dallas in 1st game without former MVP Tina Charles
Ogwumike scores 24 to lead Sparks past Storm
Skylar Diggins-Smith scored 26 points, Diana Taurasi added 18 and Phoenix beat the Dallas Wings 83-72 on Saturday in the Mercury's first game without Tina Charles.
The Mercury announced earlier Saturday that they parted ways with former MVP Tina Charles after just 18 games.
"After discussions with Tina and her agent, it was best for both parties to go our separate ways at this time," Mercury general manager Jim Pitman said. "Due to circumstances both in and out of our control, our season has not gone according to our plan, and we will continue to pursue all avenues for improvement."
Charles, the 2021 scoring champion, signed a one-year deal with Phoenix in February. The Mercury have played the whole season without All-Star centre Brittney Griner, who is being detained in Russia on drug charges.
Diamond DeShields came off the bench to post 16 points and 10 rebounds for Phoenix (7-12). Sophie Cunningham added 14 points.
Arike Ogunbowale led Dallas (9-10) with 25 points. Isabelle Harrison had 15 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out with 5:26 left in the game and the Wings trailing 66-65. Dallas fell to 4-6 at home.
Cunningham hit two 3-pointers and Diggins-Smith capped a 13-2 run with a three-point play to close out the first half and get the Mercury within 45-44.
Ogwumike leads Sparks past Storm
Nneka Ogwumike scored 24 points to lead four players in double figures and the Los Angeles Sparks clamped down in the fourth quarter to beat the Seattle Storm 85-77 on Saturday night.
Ogwumike hit 12 of 18 shots from the floor for Los Angeles (7-10).
Katie Lou Samuelson added 17 points for the Sparks, who outscored Seattle 17-9 in the final period. Brittney Sykes finished with 15 points and eight rebounds. Kristi Toliver scored 11.
Breanna Stewart had 28 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two blocks to pace Seattle (11-7). Ezi Magbegor scored 16 and blocked three shots before fouling out. Gabby Williams scored 11.
Stewart hit her first three 3-point attempts as the Storm jumped out to a 19-7 lead early.
Toliver scored the final four points in a 29-point second quarter and the Sparks led 49-43 at halftime
Mystics hold on to take down Aces in OT thriller
Alysha Clark scored 20 points, Elena Delle Donne added 19 and Natasha Cloud sank three free throws in the final 11.7 seconds of overtime to help the Washington Mystics hold on for an 87-86 victory over the Las Vegas Aces on Saturday night.
Clark hit four 3-pointers for Washington (12-9), adding eight rebounds and four steals. Delle Donne, who had 15 of her points after halftime, blocked five shots and grabbed 10 rebounds for her first double-double of the season.
Cloud scored 16 with 10 assists. Ariel Atkins totaled 15 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young both scored 20 to pace Las Vegas (13-4), which had consecutive losses for the first time this season.
Plum had six of the Aces' 17 steals. A'ja Wilson finished with 17 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks.
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Young sank a 3-pointer with 7.7 seconds remaining to send the game to overtime tied at 80.
Cloud sank two foul shots and Atkins made a jumper to give the Mystics an 84-80 lead with 2:38 left in OT. Plum hit a 3-pointer at the 2:11 mark to pull the Aces within a point. Cloud made 3 of 4 free throws to put the Mystics up 87-83. Wilson sank a 3-pointer with less than a second left to cap the scoring.