The Chicago Sky came from 17 points behind in the fourth quarter Tuesday to beat the Atlanta Dream, 81-80, and advance to the Eastern Conference finals. It was the largest comeback in WNBA playoff history.
Star forward Elena Delle Donne lead Chicago with 34 points, which included the game-winning jumper with 8.2 seconds to go that sealed the victory. Sky coach Pokey Chatman credited Delle Donne for taking matters into her own hands when Atlanta had outplayed them for most of the game.
LOS ANGELES, CALIF. – The Phoenix Mercury dominated the Los Angeles Sparks in game two of the conference semifinals Sunday, 93-68, to sweep the series and advance.
Brittney Griner lead the Mercury with 21 points, including an emphatic two-handed dunk in the third quarter. Penny Taylor added 17 points and Candice Dupree, 16. It was a bit of role reversal for Griner and forward Diana Taurasi, who scored 34 points in game one to help edge the Sparks by three points. Griner had six points.
Washington, D.C. - It took an overtime, but the Indiana Fever beat the Washington Mystics Saturday, 81-76, to sweep the playoffs semifinals series and advance to the Eastern Conference finals.
All-Star forward Tamika Catchings lead Indiana with 26 points and 11 rebounds, and in the process became the WNBA's all-time postseason scoring leader, surpassing Lisa Leslie. Fellow former Lady Vol Kara Lawson was the high-scorer for Washington, with 20 points.
Chemistry was a matter of concern with the Minnesota Lynx upon entering their fourth consecutive playoffs this week. In Game two of the Western Conference Semifinals against the San Antonio Stars Saturday night, Minnesota shook off a horrendous first quarter to put on a dazzling display of cohesion to sweep the series, with a 94-89 win.
"We don’t want to play any more games than necessary. We want to be efficient and put it all out there on the court," Minnesota forward Maya Moore said.
PHOENIX, ARIZ. - The Phoenix Mercury hung on in the last minute Friday night to hold off the Los Angeles Sparks and take game one of their Western Conference semifinals series, 75-72.
Phoenix forward Diana Taurasi hit four free throw shots in the last 40 seconds to seal the hard-fought win, as part of her 34 points on the night. DeWanna Bonner added 13 points for the Mercury, including two free throw shots of her own in the game's final seconds.
Good health can be a very, very good thing. Anyone who doubts that can ask Chicago Sky coach Pokey Chatman, who spent almost as much time with the medical staff as she did with her players during the regular season. Her preferred starting five missed 60 out of a possible 170 starts with various injuries and off court issues. But timing is everything and all five were in the starting lineup with the Sky tipped off the playoffs with an 80-77 victory over the top-seeded Atlanta Dream in the first game of the 2014 playoffs.
For an organization that didn’t expect to be there, the Seattle Storm made out like bandits at Thursday’s WNBA draft lottery, walking away with the number one pick for 2015.
The Storm, which had failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2003, won their third first pick in franchise history. The Tulsa Shock won the second pick, and the Connecticut Sun garnered the third and fourth picks. Going into the lottery, Seattle and Tulsa each had a 36 percent chance of winning the top spot, while Connecticut’s odds were 28 percent.
Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore won her first career regular season MVP award Thursday, taking 35 of 38 first-place votes in a national panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. The honor was also a first for the franchise.
"You're not going to see her change the way she approaches business. Her namesake really fits her. She wants more. She knows that when you win championships, these types of accolades come with it," Minnesota head coach Cheryl Reeve said.
The Minnesota Lynx were ineffective at mitigating nerves over their ability to sustain leads in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the San Antonio Stars, but their ability to close with a victory did not falter.
Minnesota survived an 18-2 run from San Antonio in the fourth quarter to emerge with an 88-84 win at Target Center, and they can wrap up the series with a win on Saturday at San Antonio.