With the season exactly half over for a handful of these teams, the home-stretch storylines for the latter half of the season are starting to take shape. Here are the winners and losers from Sunday night’s WNBA action.
Minnesota Lynx (76) vs. Dallas Wings (72)
In a close game from beginning to end, the surging Lynx were able to hold off a late challenge from the Wings to earn their seventh straight victory. It was also Maya Moore’s seventh straight game with 20 or more points, as she put up a game-high 26 that included a 10-point fourth quarter. Lindsay Whalen added 6 assists for the Lynx. For the Wings, Skylar Diggins-Smith led the team with 16 points and 7 assists, while Liz Cambage notched her 1,000th career point en route to scoring 14 for the game. Cambage suffered an eye injury in the first half and did not return for the second half.
Coach drew up this play to perfection pic.twitter.com/i7y57TTXob— Minnesota Lynx (@minnesotalynx) July 1, 2018
Los Angeles Sparks (87) vs. Las Vegas Aces (71)
After losing big to the Aces on Friday, the Sparks did their part to try to return to their former first-place glory, coming back Sunday with a dominant win of their own over the Aces and moving to within a half-game of the Mercury. Jantel Lavender came off the bench to lead all scorers with 17 points. Four more Sparks players scored in double figures, and three had 6 assists apiece. Tamera Young led Las Vegas with 16 points and a game-high 8 assists, while A’ja Wilson had 10 points. Moriah Jefferson saw her first game action since last August and her first as a member of the Aces, adding an assist in 11 minutes of play.
Atlanta Dream (87) vs. Indiana Fever (83)
In the teams’ third meeting of the season, the Dream ensured a worst-case split in the season series as they recovered from a late Fever comeback to take the game and the 2-1 series lead. Brittney Sykes had 20 points for Atlanta to go with a game-high 7 assists, while Tiffany Hayes came off the bench to add 19 points in 18 minutes in her second game back from an ankle injury. Victoria Vivians led the Fever with 27 points and 7 rebounds (both game-highs), with Candice Dupree adding 17 points and 7 rebounds of her own. The Fever signed WNBA veteran and recent Sparks castoff Cappie Pondexter earlier on Sunday, but she did not play.
New York Liberty (97) vs. Chicago Sky (94) – in OT
While the Sky came away winners in the matchup between these teams on Friday in New York, the Liberty were able to turn things around in this one, holding off the home team in overtime to earn the win. Tina Charles scored a game-high 28 points to help end the Liberty’s five-game losing streak, while Brittany Boyd added 14 off the bench. For Chicago, Allie Quigley matched Charles’ 28-point effort and Courtney Vandersloot had 20 to go with 5 assists. Each team had a player pick up her first double-double of the season, with the Liberty’s Kia Vaughn scoring 12 points to go with 11 rebounds and the Sky’s Stefanie Dolson adding 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Seattle Storm (84) vs. Connecticut Sun (70)
The WNBA’s two highest-scoring teams met in a relatively low-scoring affair Sunday that moved the victorious Storm into a two-way tie for second place with the Sparks. Six players scored in double figures for Seattle, led by Natasha Howard’s 13 points and 8 rebounds. Sue Bird had a game-high 9 assists to go with 11 points. For the shorthanded Sun, Alex Bentley scored a game-high 15 points off the bench, with Betnijah Laney also coming off the bench to score 11. The Sun, who have lost 6 of their last 8 games, shot just 37.5 percent for the game to the Storm’s 46.6 percent.