Playoff contenders set, Silver Stars clinch berth
Last nightâ€™s game between San Antonio and Los Angeles determined what team would fill the last slot in the field of eight for the 2011 WNBA Playoffs. Los Angeles hosted the Silver Stars and needed the win plus wins in their remaining games in order to seal a bid but the Sparks fell short. San Antonio came out victorious with a 82-65 win at the Staples Center in front of a crowd of 8,502 and are now fourth in the West and playoff-bound. Minnesota, Seattle and Phoenix also secured playoff bids in the Western Conference. Indiana, Connecticut, Atlanta and New York have qualified in the East.
The Silver Stars, in winning their fifth-consecutive playoff berth, were lead by Becky Hammon who had a season-high of 37 points.
“She took the game upon herself,” said Sparks head coach Joe Bryant. “She had step-backs and crossovers and when she hit that â€˜threeâ€™ with one second left I was like â€˜it’s going to be a long day.â€™ It’s the Becky Hammon Show…she willed them to the Playoffs.â€
Hammon attributed her performance to confidence.
“You just take the shots and you knock a couple down and start getting confident,” said Hammon. “Tonight was just one of those nights. I was due for a big game here, I’ve been struggling in L.A. down the stretch a little bit and it was nice to come out and shoot the ball well tonight.”
The Silver Stars have a 9-17 overall record in playoff history, including a 7-12 record since the team relocated to San Antonio in 2003. The team can secure a third place spot by the end of the regular season. The Silver Stars have two remaining games, a home game against Washington and an away contest against Tulsa. Neither the Mystics nor Tulsa made the postseason.
The Sparks also have two games left in the season.
“We are very disappointed but we still have two games ahead of us that we need to go out and give our all,” said DeLisha Milton-Jones. “The season is not over yet because we still have a regular season to finish.”
Team standings as of today:
|Indiana1 x||20||11||0.645||0.0||12-7||12-3||8-8||5-5||W 1|
|Connecticut2 x||20||13||0.606||1.0||13-8||14-2||6-11||5-5||L 1|
|Atlanta3 x||19||14||0.576||2.0||13-8||11-6||8-8||8-2||W 3|
|New York4 x||18||14||0.563||2.5||10-10||11-5||7-9||5-5||L 1|
|Chicago5 o||14||17||0.452||6.0||10-12||10-7||4-10||5-5||L 2|
|Washington6 o||6||26||0.188||14.5||4-17||4-13||2-13||1-9||L 2|
|Minnesota1 w||25||7||0.781||0.0||17-4||13-3||12-4||8-2||W 1|
|Seattle2 x||19||13||0.594||6.0||14-7||13-2||6-11||7-3||W 2|
|Phoenix3 x||18||13||0.581||6.5||10-9||10-5||8-8||6-4||W 1|
|San Antonio4 x||16||16||0.500||9.0||10-11||8-8||8-8||3-7||W 1|
|Los Angeles5 o||13||19||0.406||12.0||9-12||8-7||5-12||4-6||L 2|
|Tulsa6 o||3||28||0.097||21.5||1-18||2-14||1-14||2-8||L 3|
Eastern Conference | w-Clinched Western Conference | o-Eliminated
from Playoffs contention