The WNBA playoffs started on August 21 and have provided non-stop action for basketball fans. As the playoffs have progressed through the first two rounds, we are now left with our last four teams. Heer is a quick recap for each of the teams.
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The 5th-seeded Phoenix Mercury began their run to the WNBA Western Conference Finals with a 101-83 defeat of the Dallas Wings. DeWanna Bonner and Diana Taurasi led the Mercury past the Wings. Bonner contributed a double-double with 29 points and 11 rebounds, along with 12-19 shooting and four-for-seven from beyond the arc. Taurasi also had a double-double with 26 points and 12 assists. She shot 8-15, including 6-12 from behind the 3-point arc.
The Mercury then traveled to Connecticut to face the 4th-seeded Sun, who they defeated 96-86. Phoenix received 27 points each from Brittney Griner and Taurasi. Griner also blocked six shots and Taurasi shot 5-10 from 3-point range. Bonner was also a star, scoring 23 points and grabbing a game-high 18 rebounds. This set Phoenix up for a matchup with the number one overall seeded Seattle Storm. In Game 1, the Mercury dropped the game 91-87. Phoenix got 27 points and 13 rebounds from Bonner and 25 points, eight rebounds, and six assists from Taurasi.
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The top overall seed Seattle Storm earned themselves a bye into the semifinals where they met the Phoenix Mercury. The Storm took Game 1 by a score of 91-87. It was an exciting game that saw the Storm lead by double digits only to have the Mercury tie it up late. But in the end, Seattle took control and held on for the win.
Seattle had three players score 20+ points, led by Breanna Stewart’s 28 points and seven rebounds. Stewart shot 6-9 from beyond the arc. Jewell Loyd was next with 23 points behind 9-16 shooting as well as five assists. Natasha Howard rounded out the leaders for the storm with 20 points on 7-13 shooting to go with five rebounds.
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The Washington Mystics are the 3rd-seeded team in the playoffs and earned their way to the Eastern Conference Finals with a convincing 96-64 win over the Los Angeles Sparks. The Mystics had six different players reach double-digit points in the game, led by Elena Delle Donne and her 19-points, 12-rebound double-double. Ariel Atkins and LaToya Sanders each contributed 14 points. Natasha Cloud’s 13 points, Kristi Toliver’s 11, and Tianna Hawkins’ 10 rounded out the Mystics’ scoring attack.
Washington then traveled to Atlanta to take on the top seed in the east. The Mystics took Game 1 on the road by a score of 87-84. Delle Donne led Washington with 32 points and 13 rebounds. As a team, the Mystics only shot 39 percent, but Delle Donne’s offensive explosion lifted her team to victory.
Just like Game 1, Game 2 was another closely contested matchup. This time, the Mystics fell just short, losing 78-75. Delle Donne had another double-double with 27 points and 14 rebounds to go with six assists. Towards the end of the game, Delle Donne collapsed to the floor after stumbling on a drive to the basket. She hit the floor and was clutching her left knee. The series is tied at one game apiece, heading to Washington.
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In Game 1, the Atlanta Dream fell just short, losing 87-84. The Dream had four players in double digits and shot over four percent better than the Mystics, but could not pull out the win in Game 1. Alex Bentley came off the bench for Atlanta and led the team with 19 points on 7-15 shooting. Tiffany Hayes and Elizabeth Williams were next with 17 and 15 points respectively. Williams added 14 rebounds to her stat line to give her a double-double.
In Game 2, the Dream bounced back, taking the 78-75 victory. Bentley led the Dream off the bench once again, this time scoring 22 points on 8-14 shooting. Hayes added 14 points of her own on 5-9 shooting. Williams and Jessica Breland each put up nearly identical 10-point double-doubles. Williams added 11 rebounds to her stat line. Breland brought down 14 boards and also swatted seven shots. Both players shot 4-13 from the field.