Lynx legend Sylvia Fowles posts 192nd career double-double in her final WNBA game
Howard delivers playoff-clinching win for Liberty over Dream
Alyssa Thomas scored 16 points and her key bucket and rebound helped Connecticut hold off visiting Minnesota 90-83 on Sunday in the final WNBA game for Lynx and league legend Sylvia Fowles.
Fowles, the 2017 league MVP and four-time defensive player of the year, had her league-best 192nd career double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
She is the only player to lead two franchises (Minnesota and Chicago) in career rebounding and she is the only WNBA player to reach 4,000 career rebounds. Fowles checked out of the game for the last time to a long standing ovation, and hugged her coaches and teammates.
Natisha Hiedeman and Brionna Jones scored 15 points each for Connecticut. Jonquel Jones scored 12 points and Williams had 10. Thomas added seven rebounds and five assists.
Lindsay Allen, who entered with a scoring average of 4.3 points pre game, made 6 of 7 3-pointers and led the Lynx with 26 points. She added six assists. Powers had 22 points and eight rebounds.
A 9-0 run late in the first quarter helped the Sun take a 28-14 lead into the second period and they would go on to lead 71-54 heading to the fourth.
Connecticut was already assured of the No. 3 playoff spot and will open at home against No. 6 Dallas on Thursday. Minnesota missed the playoffs.
Howard helps Liberty clinch playoff berth
Natasha Howard scored 18 points and hit a big 3-pointer in the final minute as New York defeated Atlanta 87-83 on Sunday, sending the Liberty to the WNBA playoffs.
With New York leading 80-79 in a back-and-forth fourth quarter, Howard hit a 24-footer to put the Liberty up by four with 55 seconds remaining. The Dream extended their ensuing possession by collecting a couple of offensive rebounds before Aari McDonald made a driving layup to trail 83-81 with 26 seconds left. Sabrina Ionescu and Howard both made two free throws for New York and the Liberty led by six before McDonald made another layup to close out the scoring.
Atlanta (14-22) lost its fourth in a row and sixth in its past eight games.
Marine Johannes scored 18 points on 6-of-8 3-point shooting for New York. Stefanie Dolson added 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Rhyne Howard had 24 points and seven assists for Atlanta. Monique Billings added 15 points, Maya Caldwell 14 and McDonald 11.
Aces wrap under No. 1 seed
Chelsea Gray had 33 points, seven rebounds and nine assists and Las Vegas wrapped up the best regular-season record in the WNBA, defeating Seattle 109-100 in a regular-season finale on Sunday.
Kelsey Plum, who had 23 points for the Aces, scored seven points in the final minute. Her 3-pointer with 58 seconds left put Las Vegas up by six and she added two more field goals as the Aces (26-10) clinched the top seed in the playoffs.
Seattle's Jewell Loyd scored a career-high 38 points that included 8 of 14 from 3-point distance. The Storm (22-14) made 18 3-pointers.
A'Ja Wilson had 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Aces and Riquna Williams scored 11 points. Gray was 10-for-15 from the field and 11-for-11 from the free throw line where the Aces made 20 of 24 as a team. Seattle was 6-for-7 from the line.
Breanna Stewart had 21 points and 15 rebounds for the Storm and Gabby Williams added 11 points.
Briann January's 3-pointer with about two minutes left in the third quarter put the Storm up by 10 before Las Vegas closed the period with a 12-0 run to lead 78-76 heading to the fourth.
Las Vegas defeated Chicago and Seattle in consecutive games to clinch the top playoff spot, having defeated the defending champion Sky 89-78 on Thursday.
Seattle was already assured of the No. 4 seed and will open the playoffs at home against No. 5 Washington on Thursday.
The Aces' opening-round opponent will be eighth-seeded Phoenix, with the series beginning Wednesday in Las Vegas.
Sky take No. 2 seed in playoffs after cruising past Mercury
Azura Stevens scored 17 points and Chicago wrapped up the regular season with an 82-67 victory over Phoenix on Sunday.
Chicago (26-10), the defending WNBA champion, had an opportunity to take the No. 1 playoff seed had Las Vegas (also 26-10) lost its regular-season finale earlier on Sunday. However, the Aces defeated Seattle 109-100 to clinch the top seed.
Allie Quigley added 14 points, Emma Meesseman 11 and Kahleah Copper 11 for the Sky, which will open defense of their league title as the No. 2 seed against seventh-seeded New York. The opener of the three-game series will be Wednesday in Chicago.
No Chicago starter played more than 20 minutes and all five reserves who played recorded at least 20 minutes on the court.
Chicago dominated the Mercury from the start, leading 15-8 after one quarter and 39-25 at halftime.
Megan Gustafson had 12 points and 10 rebounds for Phoenix. Jennie Simms added 12 points, Kaela Davis 11, and Diamond DeShields 10.
Phoenix (15-21) played without Diana Taurasi, who missed the game with a quadriceps injury. The Mercury were also without Skylar Diggins-Smith, whose contract has been suspended by the team. Still, the Mercury qualified for the playoffs when Minnesota lost to Connecticut earlier Sunday. The Mercury will be the eighth seed and face top-seeded Las Vegas on Wednesday.
Wings soar past Sparks
Marina Mabrey scored 27 points, Teaira McCowan added 24, and playoff-bound Dallas rode a 41-point second quarter to a 116-88 victory over Los Angeles in a regular-season finale on Sunday.
The second-quarter blitz included an 18-0 run and the Wings finished the first half with a 66-29 lead on 74% shooting from the field, making 7 of 11 3-pointers and 13 of 17 free throws. Dallas finished at 66% from the field, making 11 of 22 3-pointers and 21 of 27 free throws.
Tyasha Harris had her first career double-double for Dallas (18-18), combining 18 points with a career-high 11 assists. Kayla Thornton added 15 points and Allisha Gray scored 14.
Brittney Sykes scored 35 points, the only starter in double figures for Los Angeles. She passed 2,000 career points and her three steals pushed her past 200 for her career. Chennedy Carter had 13 points and Kianna Smith 10 for the Sparks.
Dallas set a franchise record for points in a regular-season game but came up well short of the WNBA regular-season records for points and points by a visitor. Both marks were established in Phoenix's 127-124 victory at Minnesota in 2010. The 2022 season high was the 118 points scored by Minnestoa in a home win over Phoenix last month.
The Sparks (13-23) finished the regular season with nine losses in their final 10 games.
Dallas was locked in as the No. 6 seed in the playoffs against No. 3 Connecticut. The series begins on Thursday in Connecticut.
Mystics hand Fever WNBA-record 18th consecutive defeat
Elena Delle Donne scored 22 points and Washington defeated Indiana 95-83 on Sunday in a regular-season finale.
The Mystics (22-14), already headed to the WNBA playoffs as the No. 5 seed, got 15 points from Ariel Atkins, 11 from Shakira Austin, and 10 from Natasha Cloud.
Tiffany Mitchell scored 18 points for Indiana (5-31), which finishes the season on a league-record 18-game losing streak. Emma Cannon added 14 points and Lexie Hull scored 11.
The Mystics took the lead for good with 3:19 remaining in the first quarter and never looked back. The score was 57-40 by halftime, with Delle Donne racking up 16 points.
The Mystics made 30 of 35 free throws while Indiana made 17 of 20.
Washington will play at No. 4-seed Seattle on Thursday.