Sparks eliminated from postseason contention after Sky clinch final playoff spot
Kahleah Copper scored 20 points and the Chicago Sky clinched the final playoff spot and eliminated the Sparks from postseason contention in a 92-87 win Friday night over the Minnesota Lynx.
Minnesota (19-20) dropped into a tie for the fifth-seed with Atlanta with one game remaining. The season ends Sunday with Chicago (17-22), locked into the eighth seed, playing at Connecticut while Minnesota goes to Indiana.
Dana Evans had seven quick points in the second quarter to spark Chicago, which turned a 19-16 deficit after one quarter into a 44-39 halftime lead. Marina Mabrey, who finished with 19 points, put the Sky on top for good at 35-32 with a three-pointer at the 3:17 mark.
Following their 96-89 loss to the New York Liberty, the Sparks must beat Seattle on Sunday and hope for a Chicago loss in order to reach the playoffs.
Napheesa Collier had a three-point play that pulled the Lynx within 64-62 late in the third quarter but they never got closer as Chicago pushed the lead out to 12.
Collier had 28 points, rookie Diamond Miller 24 and Kayla McBride, who signed a multiyear contract earlier in the day, added 16.
Courtney Williams had 13 points and 11 assists for the Sky, who overcame injuries and a coaching change in the middle of the season to make the playoffs.
James Wade left the team on July 1 to become an assist coach with the Toronto Raptors with Emre Vatansever replacing him as the coach/general manager.
The Sparks close out the season Sunday against the Seattle Storm.