Hamby’s shot lifts Las Vegas over Chicago

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Dearica Hamby hit a shot from a few steps inside halfcourt with 5 seconds left to lift Las Vegas to a 93-92 win over the Chicago Sky on Sunday in the second round of the WNBA playoffs.

With the Aces down by two, Hamby stole a pass from Courtney Vandersloot, took a dribble over halfcourt near the sideline and threw up her shot that went in. The Sky had one last chance, but Astou Ndour’s 3-pointer from the corner after a timeout was off.

Las Vegas will play Washington in the best-of-five semifinals that begin Tuesday.

Liz Cambage had 23 points, 17 rebounds and six blocks, Hamby finished with 17 points.

Hamby made a short basket to give Las Vegas a five-point lead with 3:32 left in the fourth quarter but Diamond DeShields and Vandersloot each made a layup before Ndour, who made just 14 3-pointers in the regular season, hit a corner 3 with 24.4 seconds to play to give Chicago a 92-90 lead.

On the ensuing possession, Vandersloot poked the ball off the leg of A’ja Wilson, who lost it out of bounds. Vandersloot then had the ball in the backcourt and was under pressure when Hamby stole it and hit her deep runner.

Diamond DeShields had 23 points, Ndour scored 17 and Kahleah Copper 16 for No. 5 seed Chicago.

SPARKS 92, STORM 69

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chelsea Gray had 21 points and eight assists, Candace Parker added 11 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, and the Sparks beat Seattle to eliminate the defending-champion Storm from the WNBA playoffs.

No. 3 seed Los Angeles advance to play second-seeded Connecticut, which earned a double-bye to the semifinals. The best-of-five series begins Tuesday in Connecticut. The WNBA said that they will pay for charter flights for the winners of the second round games to fly east so that the teams can have a full day to prepare for the first game of the semifinals.

Natasha Howard gave the Storm their first lead since early in the second quarter with a 3-pointer that made it 56-55 with 3:11 left in the third but Parker answered with a layup, Gray hit a pull-up jumper and, after a short basket by Seattle’s Jewell Loyd, the Sparks scored 21 of the next 24 points to pull away for good.

Nneka Ogwumike scored 17 points and Riquna Williams added 11 for the Sparks (22-12).

Natasha Howard led the Storm with 20 points, 11 rebounds and four steals.

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