Exciting from the preseason to the very end, the 2018 WNBA regular season is behind us with the playoffs beginning Tuesday August 21. The Indiana Fever were eliminated first, followed by the New York Liberty, Chicago Sky and Las Vegas Aces, who battled tooth and nail to the bitter end before eliminating by the Dallas Wings in a gritty thriller.
All 12 teams were action on Sunday, with the playoff-bound squads scrapping it out for seedings. Here’s where things stand heading into the 2018 WNBA Playoffs:
- #1: Seattle Storm (26-8)
- #2: Atlanta Dream (23-11)
- #3: Washington Mystics (22-12)
- #4: Connecticut Sun (21-13)
- #5: Phoenix Mercury (20-14)
- #6: LA Sparks (19-15)
- #7: Minnesota Lynx (18-16)
- #8: Dallas Wings (15-19)
2018 WNBA Playoffs bracket
2018 WNBA Playoffs schedule — 1st round
In one-and-done elimination play, the fifth-seed Phoenix Mercury host the eighth-seed Dallas Wings, and the sixth-seed LA Sparks host the seventh-seed and reigning WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx on Tuesday August 21. Action tips off at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
Sunday’s game results
Here’s what happened on the final day of the 2018 WNBA regular season:
Connecticut Sun edge LA Sparks, 89-86
In the pre-postseason tuneup, players on both teams stepped up with double-digit scoring, but with the Sun walking away with another game in the win column to conclude the season. Jasmine Thomas was the game-high scorer with 27 points and Jonquel Jones scored 17 points starting at center with Chiney Ogwumike inactive. Courtney Williams added 13 points, while Shekinna Stricklen and Morgan Tuck contributed 10 apiece. For LA, Candace Parker was the team-high scorer with 20 points, with the following Sparks’ players contributing double figures: Jantel Lavender (17 points), Essence Carson (14 points), Chelsea Gray (12 points) and Odyssey Sims (11 points).
New York Liberty end season on high note despite 96-85 loss to Phoenix Mercury
Fourth quarters have confounded the Liberty this season, but they came up with a big 26-18 fourth-quarter win against the Mercury on Sunday. However, the win of the final period followed a 29-13 drubbing in the third quarter, leading Phoenix to the win ahead of the playoffs. The Liberty’s Kia Nurse was the game-high scorer with 28 points, Rebecca Allen scored 15 points off the bench and Kiah Stokes contributed 12. Tina Charles took it easy with an uncharacteristically modest 7 points, while opposing center Brittney Griner did the same, putting in a quiet 9 points. In the Mercury win, DeWanna Bonner was the team-high scorer with 23 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double. Stephanie Talbot continued to show promise by scoring 18 points and Diana Taurasi added 16.
Las Vegas Aces end dynamic season with 93-78 loss to the playoff-bound Atlanta Dream
A’ja Wilson was the game-high scorer with 21 points and Dearica Hamby added 14 points off the bench, with everyone else held to single-digit scoring, including Kayla McBride, who scored 8 points and Kelsey Plum was held to 3. In the Dream win, Elizabeth Williams was the top scorer with 20 points, while the following of her teammates also contributed double digits: Jessica Breland and Renee Montgomery (16 apiece) and Alex Bentley (12 points off the bench).
Seattle Storm pull rank — show the Dallas Wings who’s #1 — in 84-68 blowout
After a season of battles to get to the top and stay there, the Seattle Storm took it easy on Sunday by going with reduced minutes for the team’s biggest stars, and the Dallas Wings — coming off of a battle to remember on Friday night — did the same. Breanna Stewart scored 15 points in 12 minutes for the Storm, while Liz Cambage scored 11 points in 20 minutes. The only other double-digit scorers in the game were Glory Johnson and Azurá Johnson for the Wings (16 and 10 points, respectively) and Crystal Langhorn for the Storm (15 points).
Minnesota Lynx finish the regular season with an 88-83 win over the Washington Mystics
Lindsey Whalen played in the final regular season game of her career on Sunday, scoring 10 points, dishing 6 assists and grabbing 5 rebounds in the Lynx’s five-point win over the Mystics on “Lindsey Whalen Day.” In the tuneup before the playoffs, five other Lynx players joined Whalen in double-digit scoring: Sylvia Fowles (26 points, a game-high), Maya Moore (16 points), Cecilia Zandalasini (12 points, in the starting lineup), Seimone Augustus (10 points) and Temi Fagbenle (10 points, off the bench). Kristi Toliver was the team-high scorer for the Mystics, with 17 points, while everyone else had quiet production, including 11 points in 20 minutes for Elena Delle Donne, who was the only other double-digit scorer.
Indiana Fever finished the season with a 97-92 win over the Chicago Sky
With nothing left to lose but pride after disappointing seasons, the Sky and Fever players hit the court ready to hoop in their final game of the season. In the Sky loss, Diamond DeShields was the game-high scorer with 27 points. Stefanie Dolson contributed 11 points and Cheyenne Parker added 12 points off the bench. The Fever managed to get the win because four players had strong scoring performances: veteran WNBA champs Cappie Pondexter and Candice Dupree (22 points apiece), Kelsey Mitchell and Tiffany Mitchell (14 points each) and Natalie Achonwa (11 points).
Drink up, link lush!
- The Washington Mystics have been bumped from Capital One Arena for the playoffs to accommodate renovations. Given that the WNBA postseason is just one month, it is hard to imagine that other arrangements could not have been made to accommodate a world-class basketball team.
- On the aptly named “Whay Day” at Target Center in Minneapolis on Sunday Fowles set the single-season rebounding record in a bid to earn another Defensive Player of the Year honor. “Whay Day,” you ask? A tribute to Lindsey Whalen.
- Atlanta Dream must regroup after another season-ending injury to one of its players. Damiris Dantas has missed several games due to an ankle injury and surgery has ended her season. But the Dream have piled on the wins and, therefore, should feel confident even being two players down.
- Dallas Wings sign Maggie Lucas ahead of the playoffs.
- Members of the Las Vegas Aces spoke to the media following Sunday’s losing effort in that team’s season finale: Bill Laimbeer, Kayla McBride and A’ja Wilson.
- From childbirth to WNBA All-Star Game in one year flat: A DeWanna Bonner story.
- Owners of the Indiana Fever announce part-time job fair.
- Shenise Johnson of the Fever has spent the season rehabbing an ACL injury and, just, like that — a Shenise Johnson sighting!
How to #WatchThemWork all season
Shine brighter. * flicker flicker *