There is plenty on the line when the Los Angeles Sparks battle the Dallas Wings on Sunday afternoon in the regular season finale for both teams in Arlington, Texas.
The Sparks (12-19) still have a shot to make the playoffs as the league's eighth and final seed, but they must win on Sunday and have Washington lose at home to surging Minnesota.
If both Washington and L.A. win on Sunday, the Mystics get the berth by owning the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Sparks. If both Washington and L.A. lose, New York would get the No. 8 spot as it owns the deciding tiebreaker against both teams.
Whichever team ends up with the eighth seed will play at No. 5 Phoenix in the first round of the playoffs Thursday.
The Sparks kept their postseason chances alive by winning in Atlanta 74-68 on Thursday. Nneka Ogwumike had 15 points and 10 rebounds while Brittney Sykes scored 17 points, Te'a Cooper had 14 and Nia Coffey added 10.
"It's tough being in a position where, you know, it seems as though our fate is kind of in others' hands, but we're gonna focus on doing what we need to do to win on Sunday," Ogwumike said after Thursday's win. "I think no matter what it's a learning opportunity for us to understand just how important it is for the day-to-day kind of microscopic perspective to really build the macroscopic perspective."
Dallas (13-18) heads home after an 85-75 loss at Las Vegas on Monday. Arike Ogunbowale led the Wings in the loss with 23 points, with Allisha Gray adding 15, Marina Mabrey scoring 14 points and Kayla Thornton hitting for 11.
Dallas played without injured point guard Moriah Jefferson and forward Satou Sabally as well as Isabelle Harrison, who was in COVID protocol.
The Wings had already clinched a playoff spot and were guaranteed the seventh seed when Washington lost on Friday. Dallas will open the postseason at No. 6 seed Chicago on Thursday.
"Our only focus is L.A. on Sunday, so we've got a lot going on," Ogunbowale said after Monday's loss. "We've got a week or whatever to get right for that game and it's big because it's our last home game."
--Field Level Media