WNBA

Los Angeles Sparks keep playoff hopes alive with blowout win over Seattle Storm

Heading into Sunday's action, there was only one playoff spot up for contention.

With wins by the LA Sparks and the Washington Mystics on Sunday, the race for that spot has heated up. At home, the Sparks blew out the defending champion Storm - who were without reigning Finals MVP Breanna Stewart - by 28 points (81-53).

A loss would have meant missing the playoffs for the first time since 2011, but the Los Angeles franchise dominated this contest barring a couple of lead changes early on.

Te'a Cooper scored 19 points, while Nneka Ogwumike and Erica Wheeler added 17 points apiece as the win halted the team's six-game losing streak. Point guard Wheeler had a game-high plus-minus +24 and easily ran away with the highlight of the game.

The win improves the Sparks record to 11-19, good for ninth in the standings. With just over a week remaining in the 2021 regular season schedule, they are in a close fight for the final playoff spot with the Washington Mystics and the New York Liberty.

Seed Team Record Games behind Games remaining
8. Washington Mystics 12-18 - 2 (New York, Minnesota)
9. Los Angeles Sparks 11-19 1.0 2 (Atlanta, Dallas)
10. New York Liberty 11-19 1.0 2 (Connecticut, Washington)

Earlier in the day, the Mystics ensured they remained in eighth by recording a win over the sixth-seeded Chicago Sky. Tina Charles, the league's leading scorer, put on a show with 31 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

Although Washington led by as many as 18 points, the Sky cut the lead down to just three (74-71) with just over 1:30 remaining, but the Mystics held on to remain ahead in the race for that final playoff spot.

In the day's other game, the Minnesota Lynx took care of business against the Indiana Fever. Their 90-80 wni was their second in three days over the Fever with their next contest also against the Fever after a few days.

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