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Sparks will be seeded third for WNBA playoffs after loss to Aces

Aces center A'ja Wilson drives against Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike during the first half of their game Sept. 12, 2020.
Aces center A’ja Wilson drives against Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike during the first half of their game Saturday.
(Mike Carlson / Associated Press)

A’ja Wilson scored 19 points and added eight rebounds, and the Las Vegas Aces beat the Los Angeles Sparks 84-70 on Saturday to clinch a top-two finish and a double-bye into the playoff semifinals that comes with it.

The Aces (17-4) take on first-place Seattle (18-3) in a regular-season finale Sunday with the No. 1 seed at stake. The Sparks (15-7), who lost their second game in a row, finish third.

Angel McCoughtry added 18 points and six rebounds while Kayla McBride had 17 points and six assists for the Aces, who won their fifth straight game. The Aces shot 52.2% from the field.

Nneka Ogwumike finished with 24 points with seven rebounds for the Sparks. Candace Parker added 19 points and 10 rebounds for her 10th double-double of the season. Riquna Williams contributed 10 points.

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Sparks head athletic trainer Courtney Watson is the center of the team’s WNBA bubble life. She’s just as impressive off the court by helping aspiring trainers.

A 12-2 run to end the third quarter got the Sparks to within four, but they didn’t get any closer. A McBride three-pointer made it a 10-point game with 1:25 to go, and the lead remained in double figures.

Wilson’s jumper gave the Sparks the lead for good about six minutes into the first quarter. It was 43-35 at the half behind 12 points from Wilson and 10 by McBride.


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