Mystics, Sun open semifinals with wins
WASHINGTON — Elena Delle Donne scored 24 points and hit a crucial turnaround jumper late, Emma Meesseman added a career postseason high 27 points, and the Washington Mystics held on for a 97-95 victory over the Las Vegas Aces in Game 1 of their WNBA semifinal series Tuesday night.
Meesseman also bested her regular-season high of 25 for the top-seeded Mystics, who were playing their first postseason game since being swept by the Seattle Storm in last year’s WNBA Finals.
In her first game in more than a month, Kristi Toliver added eight points, including a falling away, contested 3-pointer that stretched Washington’s lead to 13 in the fourth quarter, an advantage that just barely held.
A’ja Wilson scored 23 points for Las Vegas, which twice got the deficit as close as two points in the final moments. Liz Cambage had 19 points and 12 rebounds, while Kayla McBride added 19 points.
Kelsey Plum had 16 points and nine assists, and missed a runner at the buzzer that would’ve forced overtime.
Sun top Sparks
UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Connecticut checked off the first box on its postseason to-do list: winning a playoff game for the first time since 2012.
Alyssa Thomas had 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead a balanced Connecticut offense and the Sun opened the WNBA semifinals with an 84-75 win over the Los Angeles Sparks on Tuesday night.
Jasmine Thomas scored 19 points, Jonquel Jones had 16 and Courtney Williams had 15 for the second-seeded Sun, who had a bye for the first two rounds.
Candace Parker had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Nneka Ogwumike added 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Sparks, who knocked off defending champion Seattle in the second round.