The Minnesota Lynx broke the tie with the Los Angeles Sparks for first place in WNBA standings with a 77-74 win over them Thursday. The Lynx were led by Sylvia Fowles with 21 points and Maya Moore with 20. Both the Sparks and the Lynx went into Thursday’s game with a record of 24-5 and while the Lynx improved to 25-5, the Sparks continue to slide and now sit at 24-7.
The Sparks desperately need a win to regain momentum heading into the postseason but face a hungry Seattle Storm team Sunday, led by Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart. The storm have fought their way into the playoff picture winning five of their last seven games since the Olympic break and are battling for a higher seed. With just three games left on the Schedule for Los Angeles, they must dig deep to beat a climbing Seattle team and take advantage of the weaker competition they will face in their final two games.
Sunday, the Lynx will play the San Antonio Stars, who are at a league worst 6-20 and should be able to add some cushion to their first place lead with an easy win. However, they will also face middle-of-the-pack teams in the hunt for better playoff seating in their final three games of the season. In order to stay on top, the Lynx must continue to bring their A game because every game is a must-win for lower seeded teams.
With just one or two games between teams in the standings, no organization has clinched their seed. If the Sparks rally to the finish line winning their final three games and the Lynx slip and lose three of their last four games tables could turn once again and the Sparks could find themselves back on top.
A slump of that nature is unlikely for Minnesota but no matter which team ends the regular season at no.1, the Lynx and the Sparks will be the top two seeds heading into the playoffs. That means both teams will receive a bye to the semifinal round which will be in a best of five, 2-2-1 format.