LOS ANGELES, CALIF. - The New York Liberty won the "test of wills" with the Los Angeles Sparks Wednesday, holding them off for the 66-64 win.
Tina Charles had 31 points and 15 rebounds for the Liberty, while Cappie Pondexter added 16 points. Nneka Ogwumike was the high scorer for the Sparks, with 23 points. Jantel Lavender had 16 and Kristi Toliver, 13. Los Angeles All-Star forward Candace Parker sat out with a left knee strain, and is day to day.
The Minnesota Lynx ended their 2014 campaign with a 25-9 record, becoming the first WNBA team to post 25 wins or better for four consecutive years. Reaching that threshold this year was a remarkable achievement, with Minnesota enduring several injuries that could have compromised their overall chemistry.
"For us to do it this season, with the amount of adversity that we've faced, I told them I'm very impressed and blessed to share it with them," said Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve.
Eastern and Western Conference WNBA playoff teams face completely opposite match up scenarios going into round one games tomorrow and Friday. Even so, the theme for all four series is “unpredictability,” as a mercurial season means anything could happen.
On the morning of July 22, Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore engaged in the customary team ritual of ending a shoot-around with a half-court shot contest. Moore hit her warm-up, launching her first make from the right-hand side, and was the only player to successfully bank her true attempt from center court.
Atlanta Dream coach Michael Cooper is successfully recovering from cancer surgery three weeks ago, but now has his hands full getting his team back on a winning track.
Cooper, 58, lost 10 pounds after surgery to remove tongue cancer. The only other visible indicator of what he's been through is the long surgical scar on the left side of his neck. He said he is getting better every day.
The San Antonio Spurs announced Tuesday that Becky Hammon has been hired as an assistant coach. Per club policy terms of the contract were not announced.
Hammon, who is currently in her 16th WNBA season, announced on July 23 that she would retire as a player at the conclusion of the 2014 season. Named one of the WNBA’s Top 15 Players of All-Time in July of 2011, Hammon ranks seventh in WNBA history in points (with 5,809), fourth in assists (1,687) and sixth in games (445).
It’s go time! We are officially in the stretch run of this year’s WNBA season, and the playoff picture could not be more exciting. Two-and-a-half games separate the second-place team from the last-place team in the Eastern Conference. Three-and-a-half games separate the third-place team and the last-place team in the West. The bottom line: Phoenix, Minnesota and Atlanta (the only three teams in the league whose records are in the black) have already clinched their berths, but every single team in the league still has a shot to make the playoffs.
Yesterday’s Sun vs. Sparks game showcased two teams struggling to make the playoffs from opposite ends of the spectrum. It also highlighted one of the premiere individual rivalries that fans will enjoy for years to come, in the battle of the Ogwumike sisters.
Sixth woman, unsung hero, secret weapon – call San Antonio Stars guard Jia Perkins what you want, but every name fits.
The 11-year veteran has been a stable and productive presence throughout her professional career. In her fourth season with the Stars, she has made invaluable contributions, her coaches and teammates say.
This past spring, Indiana Fever coach Lin Dunn announced she'd be retiring at the conclusion of this year's WNBA season. She has been coaching for 44 years, at both the collegiate and professional levels. I sat down with Coach Dunn last night to talk with her about her future plans, and her perspective on the sport after so many years.