Washington, Los Angeles lose giving New York playoff spot

National Sports

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)Arike Ogunbowale scored 20 points and the Dallas Wings closed the WNBA regular season on Sunday with an 87-84 win over Los Angeles, which kept the Sparks out of the playoffs, giving the No. 8 seed to the New York Liberty.

With Los Angeles and Washington losing on the final day, idle New York (12-20) got into the postseason by holding the Liberty holding the three-way tiebreaker. New York will play a first-round, single-elimination game at Phoenix on Thursday.

The Wings (14-18) were locked into the seventh seed and play at No. 6 Chicago on Thursday.

The Wings led 44-41 at the half and stretched the lead to 13 early in the fourth quarter before the Sparks responded with nine straight points. Twice Ogunbowale knocked down 3-pointers to restore the lead to seven. The teams traded scores but Allisha Gray missed two free throws – Dallas was 17 of 17 before that – with 7.4 seconds left, giving L.A. one last chance.

Erica Wheeler, who scored 22 points, missed a final, tying attempt in the closing seconds.

LYNX 83, MYSTICS 77

WASHINGTON (AP) – Aerial Powers scored 27 points and the Minnesota Lynx made four free throws in the final 30 seconds to knock the Mystics out of playoff contention with a win, the final day of the WNBA season.

Needing a win to secure the eighth seed, the Mystics cut a 12-point deficit with less than 4 1/2 minutes to go to 79-77 when Ariel Atkins made two free throws.

Layshia Clarendon made two free throws with 27.5 seconds to play and Powers followed with two more following a turnover to seal the win.

Minnesota (22-10) also claimed the third seed and a first-round bye when the playoffs start on Thursday. The Lynx will play the lowest remaining seed in the second round next Sunday.

ACES 84, MERCURY 83

PHOENIX (AP) – Kelsey Plum scored 23 points, Jackie Young scored on a putback with 4.3 seconds left and Ji-Su Park blocked a final shot as the Aces defeated the Mercury.

The Aces welcomed back center Liz Cambage, who had been out since Aug. 28 with COVID-19. She had four points and four rebounds in about 9 1/2 minutes of play.

Plum scored 13 straight Las Vegas (24-8) points to pull the Aces within 83-82 with just less than a minute to play. After a Phoenix miss, Plum missed a shot for the lead but Destiny Slocum hustled the offensive rebound. Plum drove again and her shot rimmed out, leaving a wide-open Young to put in the winner.

Brianna Turner drove to the rim for the Mercury (19-13) as time ran out but her short floater was blocked by Park.

SUN 84, DREAM 64

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) – Natisha Hiedeman scored 16 points off the bench, Brionna Jones had a double-double and the Sun closed out the WNBA regular season with a 14-game winning streak, topping the Dream..

The Sun (26-6) finished 15-1 at home and the regular-season champions will have nine days off before playing in the semifinals against the lowest remaining seed. The Dream (8-24) did not make the playoffs.

Courtney Williams had 18 points and eight rebounds for the Dream, who were outrebounded 48-33.

SKY 96, FEVER 87

CHICAGO (AP) – Diamond DeShields scored a season-high 30 points and Chicago used a 14-4 run to pull away as the Sky beat the Fever in the regular-season finale.

Chicago (16-16) is the No. 6 seed and is home Thursday against No. 7 Dallas. Indiana (6-26) finished with the worst record in the WNBA and the highest probably to get the top pick in the 2022 draft, which the Fever have never had before in previous trips to the lottery.

Kelsey Mitchell made a pull-up jumper to pull Indiana to a 60-all tie with 4 minutes left in the third quarter but DeShields answered with a jumper and then made two free throws as Chicago scored 14 of the next 18 points to take the lead for good.

More AP women’s basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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