Las Vegas and Chicago will meet in the second annual Commissioner’s Cup next month.
The season title game will be played at the home of the top-performing team, currently Las Vegas. The Aces could end their home game with a victory over Chicago on Tuesday night. The first tiebreak is head-to-head and Las Vegas won the first meeting between the teams.
Seattle won its first Commissioner’s Cup last season while playing for the championship in Phoenix at a neutral venue.
This year, the WNBA has added a charity component to the competition: teams earn money for every win they get in the 10 conference games they play in.
“It’s great that they added that this year,” Chicago Flames forward Candice Parker said. “It adds a new wrinkle and every time you can make money for charity, that’s great.”
Players will once again compete for the $500,000 prize pool in the title game, with each member of the winning team receiving $30,000 and runners-up receiving $10,000 per player.
“I really like that the players have an extra incentive,” Aces coach Becky Hammon said earlier this month. “Any time the league can give the players a little extra money, I’m all for it.”
Hammon’s aces also still lead the Associated Press WNBA poll.
WNBA poll this week:
1. Las Vegas (13-2): The Aces have won four in a row and have been dominated by Aja Wilson lately. Last week, she averaged 25 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3 blocks.
2. Connecticut (12-5): The Suns get a strong game off the bench from Brionna Jones, who is averaging 14.3 points and 5.2 rebounds.
3. Chicago (10-5): Parker has missed the last two games with a knee injury and Sky will play three games this week.
4. Washington (11-7): When Elena Delle Donne hit the court, the Mystics were one of the best teams in the league, 8-3. Without her, the team is only 3-4 and is struggling in attack. Delle Donne is resting after missing last season due to back surgery.
5. Seattle (10-6): The Storm ended their tour 4-1 and got a solid game from Gabby Williams that will be key to their success this season if she continues to take the pressure off Breanna Stewart and Jewell. Loyd.
6. Dallas (8-8): Arike Ogunbowale has improved her game lately, averaging 25.5 points, 5 rebounds and 4.5 assists to help the Wings win two of three games.
7. Phoenix (6-10): Tina Charles’ great week, averaging 25 points, wasn’t enough to get the Mercury more than one win as they lost two of their three games. Phoenix will need the constant hard work of Charles, Skylar Diggins-Smith and Diana Taurasi to build a three-game winning streak this week.
8. Atlanta (7-8): A tough ride has left the Dream without a win in their last four games, but they are now returning home to try to get back on their feet.
9. New York (6-10): Svoboda got huge support from French defender Marin Johannes. Her game somewhat reduced the pressure on Sabrina Ionescu. Johannes scored a career-high 23 points in a loss to Seattle on Sunday. New York will play two away games this week, one in Connecticut and the other in Atlanta.
10. Los Angeles (5-9): After an easy one-game week, the Sparks will have three contests this week. With practice time, they had the Sparks’ hope that they would fix their defensive problems. The Sparks are second to last in the league with 87.6 points per game.
11. Indiana (5-13): Fever is about to embark on a four-game journey; Indiana is just 2-6 on the road this season.
12. Minnesota (3-13): The Lynx lost five games in a row, but they were competitive. They lost 1 point to Las Vegas and 2 points behind Seattle. Jessica Shepherd has been a bright spot for Minnesota, who is still without Sylvia Fowles (knee injury).
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Aya Wilson of Las Vegas was named the Associated Press Player of the Week. Last week, Wilson made 61% of her field goals and also made all 15 free throws and four three-pointers. Ogunbowale of Dallas, Kalea Copper of Chicago, Jonkel Jones of Connecticut, and Stewart of Seattle also received votes.
SO LONG SUE
Sue Bird announced last week that she would retire after the end of the season. She played her last regular season game. in New York on Sunday and is now returning home to Seattle for the first time since the Storm completed a five-game trip. Byrd has spent her entire 21-year career in Seattle.
GAME OF THE WEEK:
Mystics at Aces, Saturday. The Washingtons have dealt one of their two losses to Las Vegas this season, and the Aces will look to avenge that loss.
More Associated Press Women’s Basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports