PHOENIX, AZ (September 7, 2019)—With one game remaining in the regular season, the number four seed and a First Round bye in the WNBA Playoffs are still on the line for the Las Vegas Aces who take on the Phoenix Mercury Sunday at 1 pm PT.
Las Vegas and Chicago are tied for fourth with identical 20-13 records. The Aces own the tiebreaker over the Sky, so if Las Vegas wins Sunday, or Chicago loses, the Aces secure the four seed.
Las Vegas has dropped four of its last five games. During that stretch, opponents are making 44.9 percent of their shots from the floor, and 36.0 percent from three-point range.
A’ja Wilson is averaging 19.0 points and 7.0 rebounds since returning from an ankle injury seven games ago. Liz Cambage is averaging 15.7 points and 7.7 boards during that stretch while connecting on 52.5 percent of her shots from the field, and Kelsey Plum is chipping in 10.4 points per game, while making 44.4 percent of her shots from beyond the arc, and boasting a 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
The Mercury (15-18) are locked into the eighth spot in the postseason, and will travel to the five seed to begin the postseason on Wednesday, September 11. They have lost three straight games, and 10 of their last 15.
Phoenix has been without three-time WNBA Champion Diana Taurasi for much of the season. The nine-time All-Star returned to the lineup in mid-August, and has started six games, but is averaging just 4.3 points per game, making 21.4 percent of her shots from the field, and 10.3 percent from three-point range.
In Taurasi’s absence, Brittney Griner and DeWanna Bonner have been the focal points of the Mercury offense. Griner leads the WNBA in scoring (20.6), while making 56.0 percent of her shots, and Bonner is fifth in the league in scoring (17.3), and ninth in rebounding (7.6).
Phoenix ranks last in the WNBA in rebound percentage, and forces a league-low 13.2 turnovers per game. They make better use of the free throw line than every team in the W except the Aces, and have taken 111 more free throw than their opposition this year.
Las Vegas and Phoenix have split their previous two games this season, with the Aces winning in overtime, 84-79, on August 20, and the Mercury winning, 86-84, on May 31.