09/20/2021 at 6:55 AM CEST
Guard Arike Ogunbowale scored 20 points and the Dallas Wings closed the WNBA regular season on Sunday with an 87-84 win over Los Angeles., which kept the Sparks out of the playoffs, giving the No. 8 spot to the New York Liberty.
With Los Angeles and Washington losing on the final day, New York (12-20), which had already completed the regular season, entered the playoffs by having the best tiebreaker among the three teams.
The Liberty will play a first-round single elimination game in Phoenix on Thursday against the local Mercury team.
The Wings (14-18) were in seventh place and will play with the Chicago Sky, sixth seeded, also on Thursday in a single game.
The Dallas team led 44-41 at the half and extended the lead to 13 early in the fourth quarter before the Sparks responded with nine straight points.
Twice Ogunbowale scored 3s to restore the lead to seven. The teams traded baskets, but point guard Allisha Gray missed two free throws (Dallas was 17 of 17 before that) with 7.4 seconds left, giving Los Angeles one last chance.
The Sparks were 13 of 26 on shooting from outside the perimeter until point guard Erica Wheeler, who scored 22 points, missed a final tie attempt in the closing seconds with the Sparks.
Reserve forward Marina Mabrey scored 16 points with the Wings. Dallas also got a boost from backup forward Isabelle Harrison, who missed the previous four games due to Covid-19 protocol. Scored 14 points.
Forward Nneka Ogwumike kept Los Angeles in the game, hitting two of her four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and adding a double-double of 18 points with 10 rebounds.
While guard Te’a Cooper led the Sparks with 24 points that in the end did not prevent the defeat of the Sparks.