Aces beat Sparks, clinch double-bye into playoff semis

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — A’ja Wilson scored 19 points with eight rebounds and the Las Vegas Aces beat the Los Angeles Sparks 84-70 on Saturday to clinch a top-two finish and a double-bye into the playoff semifinals that comes with it.

The Aces (17-4) take on first-place Seattle (18-3) in a regular-season finale on Sunday to try and secure the No. 1 seed. The Sparks (15-7) finish third.

Angel McCoughtry added 18 points and six rebounds and Kayla McBride 17 points and six assists for the Aces, who won their fifth straight game. The Aces shot 52.2% from the floor.

Nneka Ogwumike scored 24 points with seven rebounds for the Sparks. Candace Parker added 19 points and 10 rebounds for her 10th double-double of the season. Riquna Williams scored 10 points.

A 12-2 run to end the third quarter got the Sparks within four but they didn’t get any closer. A McBride 3-pointer made it a 10-point game with 1:25 to go and the lead remained in double figures.

Wilson’s jumper gave the Sparks the lead for good about six minutes into the first quarter. It was 43-35 at the half behind 12 points from Wilson and 10 by McBride.

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