Aces lock up double-bye with win over the Sparks

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.


Myisha Hines-Allen had 25 points and 11 rebounds to help Washington beat the Liberty, keeping the Mystics’ playoff hopes alive.

Washington’s victory eliminates Atlanta and leaves just the Mystics and the Dallas Wings in the running for the eighth and final playoff spot. The Mystics (8-13) would clinch a berth with a victory over Atlanta in a regular-season finale on Sunday. A loss would open the door for Dallas (7-14), which would then advance with a victory over the last-place Liberty (2-19) Sunday as the Wings own the tiebreaker over the Mystics.


Rachel Banham made seven 3-pointers and scored 29 points, both career highs, and the Lynx completed their regular season with a victory over the Fever.

Banham, averaging 5.7 points, made her first start of the season and finished 10-of-14 shooting — missing just once from behind the arc — and added a career-high 10 assists. She scored nine points in the third quarter when the Lynx extended a one-point lead to nine heading into the fourth quarter.

The Lynx (14-8), who snapped a three-game losing streak, will be the fourth seed for the playoffs. The Fever (6-16) , who finish their season in 11th place, were led by Kelsey Mitchell’s 20 points.

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