2-time MVP Elena Delle Donne makes long-awaited return as Mystics fall to Storm
Wheeler, Sykes help Sparks hold off Liberty for 4th consecutive win
Breanna Stewart had 20 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks and the Seattle Storm used a late run to beat the Washington Mystics 85-78 on Sunday, spoiling two-time WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne's return.
Sue Bird and Stephanie Talbot each hit a 3-pointer during a 12-2 run that gave Seattle (18-7) an 85-76 lead with 1:18 to play.
Delle Donne, who made her first appearance in nearly two years, scored 16 points for the Mystics (8-14). She helped Washington win Game 5 of the 2019 WNBA Finals on October 10, 2019, securing the first title franchise history despite playing with three herniated disks in her back.
ELENA DELLE DONNE IS BACK 👏 <a href="https://twitter.com/espnW?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@espnw</a> <a href="https://t.co/S5xsOy9gAk">pic.twitter.com/S5xsOy9gAk</a>—@espn
The 2015 WNBA scoring champion had two back surgeries and missed 22 months with a career-threatening injury.
Ezi Magbegor and Mercedes Russell added 14 points apiece for the Storm.
Tina Charles led Washington with 20 points and Myisha Hines-Allen added nine points and a career-high 17 rebounds.
Wheeler, Sykes power Sparks past Liberty
Erica Wheeler scored 17 points and Brittney Sykes made two defensive stops in the closing seconds to help the Los Angeles Sparks beat the New York Liberty 86-83 on Sunday.
Betnijah Laney threw a behind-the-back pass intended for Sabrina Ionescu but Sykes jumped into the lane and took it to the other end before being fouled by Ionescu an a layup attempt. Sykes made both free throws to make it 85-81 with 16.2 seconds left.
Michaela Onyenwere made two foul shots on the other end and then Kristi Toliver hit 1 of 2 from the free-throw line to give the L.A. a 86-83 lead with 5.0 seconds remaining but Sykes blocked a potential tying 30-foot heave by Ionescu at the buzzer to seal it.
That's how you end a game, <a href="https://twitter.com/BrittBundlez?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BrittBundlez</a> 🚫<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RootedinLA?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#RootedinLA</a> <a href="https://t.co/g9hbl1M4f3">pic.twitter.com/g9hbl1M4f3</a>—@LASparks
Sykes finished with seven points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Natasha Howard had 17 points and 11 rebounds and Sami Whitcomb also scored 17 points, including five 3-pointers, for the Liberty (11-14). Rebecca Allen scored 15 points on five 3-pointers, Ionescu added 12 points and Laney had 10 points and nine assists.
Whitcomb, who went into the game averaging a career-high 12.6 points and leading the WNBA with 64 3-pointers, stepped on the foot of defender Erica Wheeler and appeared to injure her ankle with about two minutes to play. She was helped off the court by teammates and did not return.
New York shot 16 of 35 from 3-point range but committed 22 turnovers — 10 in the fourth quarter.
The game was played without fans in attendance because of Tropical Storm Henri.