The WNBA regular season came to an end on Sunday with all 12 teams in action and two playoff positions still up to be taken.
The New York Liberty, Atlanta Dream, Phoenix Mercury, and Minnesota Lynx entered the final day of the regular season with a chance to reach the postseason in several ways or get knocked out.
Liberty took control of the game later on
As it turned out, the Dream were in Brooklyn to face the Liberty, where a victory would guarantee New York a spot in the playoffs. With a postseason berth on the line, the game was as competitive as one might imagine. In the fourth quarter, the two teams traded leads before the Liberty were eventually ready to seize control later courtesy of a Natasha Howard three-pointer that gave them a four-point lead. With less than 30 seconds left, Aari McDonald did cut the margin to two, but that was as close as the Atlanta Dream would get, as Sabrina Ionescu sealed the victory with free throws. Atlanta’s final attempts at a three-pointer to give themselves a chance failed.
The Minnesota Lynx were playing the 3-seeded Sun in Connecticut, who didn’t have to worry about their seed but still hoped to have a good season. The Sun held off a dramatic Minnesota comeback in what proved out to be WNBA legend Sylvia Fowles’ final game to eliminate the Lynx from the playoffs. This propelled the Mercury into a playoff berth without the outcome of their final game against the Sky being crucial to their hopes.
Phoenix Mercury heads to the WNBA Playoffs
Phoenix clinched an outstanding victory against Minnesota Lynx on Sunday. They are now headed to the WNBA playoffs. For Phoenix, this season has been the most remarkable one with a lot of drama, injuries, absences, and most importantly their top contributors were either excluded from the team or out for the season. Star player Diana Taurasi and Skylar Diggins-Smith’s exclusion on the basis of injury or personal reasons made things a bit more challenging for the Phoenix. There is no doubt in saying that the Phoenix Mercury are surely missing their center Brittney Griner, who was detained in Russia.
The Sun (3-seed), Storm (4-seed), Mystics (5-seed), and Wings (6-seed) were all guaranteed, but the Aces locked in the 1-seed with a stunning victory over Seattle when each team struggled in the seeding of the playoff basket.