PHOENIX ( Associated Press) — Sylvia Fowls had 16 points, Ariel Powers scored 10 of her 14 points in the fourth quarter, and the Minnesota Lynx beat short-handed Phoenix Mercury 86-77 to complete a three-game series sweep.
Minnesota (14–20) went into a four-way tie for seventh, battling Atlanta, New York and Phoenix for the final two playoff spots. The Lynx play Seattle on Fridays and Connecticut on Sundays to close out the regular season. Phoenix (14-20) plays Dallas on Friday and Chicago on Sunday.
Powers made a layoff in traffic to give Minnesota a 78-74 lead, and he added two free throws to his next possession for a six-point lead. Moria Jefferson took 35.2 seconds on a jumper from the free-throw line to lead Minnesota 84-77.
Phoenix announced 30 minutes before the tip that Skylar Diggins-Smith would not play for personal reasons. Mercury was already without Diana Taurasi.
Sophie Cunningham played the scoring role for Phoenix, finishing a career-high tie with six 3-pointers and 24 points.
Liberty 91, Wings 73
Arlington, Texas ( Associated Press) — Sabrina Ionescu had 13 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, Sami Whitcomb added 15 points and raced to the playoffs with a win over the Liberty Wings.
New York (14–20) went into a tie with Atlanta for an eighth playoff place, and the two teams play each other on Friday and Sunday to close out the regular season. Dallas (17-17) is sixth in the playoffs. The Wings play in Phoenix on Friday and Los Angeles on Sunday.
Ionescu, coming on Monday with a season-high 32 points against Dallas, was scoreless in the first half, going 0 for 4 off the ground. But Ionescu responded after halftime with 11 points, four rebounds and four assists in the third quarter, including a layup to extend New York’s lead to 67-57 just before the buzzer.
Marina Mabrey scored a career-high 31 points on Monday in a scoring battle with Ionescu, 19, and Teyra McCowan had 17 points and 13 rebounds for Dallas, whose franchise-record five-game winning streak was broken .