The Las Vegas Aces and Dallas Wings already have clinched berths in the WNBA playoffs, but there is still seeding at stake when the teams square off on Monday afternoon in Las Vegas.
The second-place Aces (21-8) can’t post the league’s best record after Connecticut clinched that spot with its current 12-game win streak. The No. 2 seed, though, is almost as good in the WNBA’s playoff structure.
Las Vegas’ most recent outing was a decisive 102-81 home win over the Minnesota Lynx on Wednesday that moved the Aces closer to clinching the automatic double-playoff bye that accompanies a second-place finish in the standings.
The Aces can lock up the second spot with victories in two of their final three regular-season games.
Jackie Young scored a career-high 29 points for the Aces in the win over Minnesota. A’ja Wilson added 20 points, Riquna Williams scored 16, Dearica Hamby hit for 14 in her return from an ankle injury and Chelsea Gray dished out 14 assists.
Las Vegas, which is 6-2 since returning from the five-week Olympic break, shot 55.1 percent and committed just five turnovers in the win over Minnesota.
“We were just clicking on all cylinders,” Gray said. “We were just moving the ball and being really efficient. When we’re able to do that, we’re really hard to guard.”
Monday afternoon’s game is the final one at home for Las Vegas.
The Wings (13-17) head to Vegas after a thrilling 77-76 home win over New York on Saturday. Dallas took a 77-74 lead on Satou Sabally’s layup with 38 seconds to play and survived as the Liberty couldn’t produce the tie or the win on their final two possessions.
The Wings’ Allisha Gray blocked Sabrina Ionescu’s running jumper to preserve the victory. Sabally also had a key 3-pointer with 2:00 remaining as the Wings rallied from a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
The victory allowed Dallas to clinch its first playoff berth since 2018. The Wings, who have two games remaining, can finish no worse than eighth in the standings.
Marina Mabrey led the Wings with 21 points off the bench Saturday, with Gray, Kayla Thornton, Arike Ogunbowale and Sabally scoring 13 apiece for Dallas.
“This is what playing team sports is all about,” Ogunbowale said. “The team really rallied together and played together. That’s what playoff basketball is all about.”
The Aces will go for the season sweep of Dallas after beating the Wings at home 85-78 on June 13 and again 95-79 at Arlington, Texas, on July 11.
–Field Level Media