Sky beat Sun to set franchise’s win record

Candace Parker scored 18 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and tipped a pass to Emma Meesseman for a 3-pointer in the closing seconds to help the Sky beat the Sun to set the franchise record for wins in a season.

Courtney Vandersloot had 20 points, five assists and four steals for Chicago (25-8). Meesseman and Allie Quigley added 15 points apiece and Kahleah Copper scored 11.

Jonquel Jones had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Connecticut (22-11), which was missing head coach Curt Miller who was spending time with his family after his mom Bev died earlier this week.

Aces beat Storm

A’ja Wilson scored 29 points, Kelsey Plum added 16 including a key 3-pointer in the final minute, and the Las Vegas Aces spoiled the final regular season home game for Sue Bird beating the Seattle Storm 89-81 on Sunday.

The largest crowd in Storm history packed Climate Pledge Arena to thank Bird for her two decades as the face of the franchise and one of the best women’s basketball players ever.

But the Aces weren’t willing to play their part in ensuring Bird’s finale was a win. Wilson dominated the first three quarters, Chelsea Gray and Jackie Young both scored 15 and the Aces never trailed the final 28 minutes.

Breanna Stewart finished with a season-high 35 points and Tina Charles added 19. Bird finished with nine points, six assists and four rebounds, but the result was much like the first game she played in Seattle 20 years ago — a defeat.

Sparks keep playoff hopes alive with win over Mystics

Brittney Sykes scored 21 points. including a driving layup in the closing seconds, and the Los Angeles Sparks kept their slim playoff hopes alive Sunday with a 79-76 win over the Washington Mystics.

Los Angeles (13-20), which snapped a six-game losing streak, are one of five teams within two games of each other vying for the final two postseason berths. The Sparks are 1 1/2 games back of seventh-place Atlanta (14-18) and a game behind Phoenix (14-19) for the final playoff spot with a week left in the regular season.

Washington is in a battle with Seattle for the fourth spot. The Mystics trail by a half-game with two games left.

Sykes, with the shot clock winding down, kissed a left-hand runner high off the glass to give the Sparks a three-point lead with 39.7 seconds to go. Ariel Atkins answered with two free throws about four seconds later and Elena Delle Donne blocked a shot by Nneka Ogwumike and secured the rebound with 17 seconds left but then missed a potential go-ahead jumper about 10 seconds later and Olivia Nelson-Ododa made two free throws to cap the scoring with 4.4 seconds to go.

Natasha Cloud attempted a potential tying heave from just inside half court as time expired and a foul was initially called, but then waved off by the officials and the game ended without review.

Nneka Ogwumike and Katie Lou Samuelson scored 15 points apiece for the Sparks. Jordin Canada added 11 points and a career-high tying 12 assists and Lexie Brown scored 10 points.

Samuelson hit a 3-pointer to make it 22-19 in the opening seconds of the second quarter and Los Angeles led the rest of the way. Sykes made back-to-back baskets to give the Sparks their biggest lead at 40-27 late in the first half.

Myisha Hines-Allen scored 17 of her 20 points for the Mystics (20-14) in the second half and Atkins also scored 20 points. Shakira Austin scored 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds. Delle Donne made just 2 of 12 from the field and finished with eight points and eight rebounds.

Kristi Tolliver (calf) and Chiney Ogwumike (face) did not play for Los Angeles.

Washington owns the Sparks’ first-round draft pick, a potential lottery selection that Los Angeles first traded to the Atlanta Dream, in the 2023 draft.

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