Mystics use late run to beat Lynx 86-79, clinch playoff spot
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Ariel Atkins scored 18 points, Emma Meesseman added 17 points and the Washington Mystics clinched a playoff berth with an 86-79 win over the Minnesota Lynx on Friday night.
The Mystics (19-7), who have the best record in the WNBA by a game over Connecticut, surged into the lead for good during a 13-4 run capped at 74-70 on LaToya Sanders’ 19-foot jumper with 3:32 left in the game.
Meesseman’s 3-pointer with 51.8 seconds left made it 80-73 and Washington made all six of its free throws from there.
Elena Delle Donne had 14 points and eight rebounds, Aerial Powers had 14 points and Natasha Cloud scored 13 for the Mystics.
Sylvia Fowles had 16 points and eight rebounds to lead the Lynx (13-13). Damiris Dantas and Danielle Robinson added 14 points each. Napheesa Collier scored 13 and Odyssey Sims 10.
SUN 79, STORM 78
UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) — Shekinna Stricklen scored 24 points and made a pair of free throws with 4.3 seconds left to help the Connecticut Sun rally from a late seven-point deficit and beat the Seattle Storm 79-78 on Friday night.
Connecticut (18-8) was down 76-69 with 1:47 left before closing the game on a 10-2 run capped by Stricklen’s two free throws. Alyssa Thomas added 17 points, 11 rebounds and five steals, including one to seal the game after Stricklen’s free throws.
Seattle (14-13) had its largest lead at 61-48 late in the third quarter, but Stricklen scored nine points during Connecticut’s 10-2 run to close the period.
Natasha Howard scored 27 points on 11-of-15 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Storm. Jewell Loyd added 15 points, Crystal Langhorne scored 14 and Alysha Clark 11.
WINGS 83, LIBERTY 77
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Allisha Gray scored 22 points and the Dallas Wings took the lead in the final minute to win their third straight, beating New York 83-77 on Friday night.
Isabelle Harrison’s basket with 40.4 seconds left gave Dallas a 76-75 lead. Arike Ogunbowale, who added 21 points for the Wings (9-17), followed with three consecutive free throws and Gray added a pair to make it 81-75 with 17.4 seconds to go.
Bria Hartley cut the deficit to four with a pair of free throws for the Liberty (8-17), but that was as close as they would get.
Harrison had 15 points and Glory Johnson scored 11 for the Wings.
Tina Charles led New York with 25 points. Kia Nurse added 17 points and Hartley scored 12.
New York, which has lost seven straight, trailed by seven in the middle of the fourth quarter but rallied to take the lead at 73-71 with 1:43 to go.