Sparks edge Lynx 77-76 on Gray's shot in WNBA Finals rematch

Sylvia Fowles, left, of the Minnesota Lynx defends Nneka Ogwumike, right, of the Los Angeles Sparks in the second quarter of a WNBA basketball game Sunday, May 20, 2018, Minneapolis, Minn. (Carlos Gonzalez /Star Tribune via AP)

MINNEAPOLIS — Chelsea Gray's contested off-balance shot in the lane at the buzzer gave the Los Angeles Sparks a 77-76 victory over the Minnesota Lynx in their season opener Sunday, an intense rematch of last year's WNBA finals.

Lindsay Whalen had 10 of her 17 points in the fourth quarter for the Lynx, including a pair of free throws with 5.8 seconds left. Gray, who finished with 18 points and eight assists, dribbled into traffic at the other end after a timeout and gave the short-handed Sparks some payback for losing the title last fall.

Odyssey Sims led the Sparks with 21 points, Nneka Ogwumike added 19 points and nine rebounds, and Essence Carson had 10 points. Los Angeles shot just 3 for 18 from 3-point range.

Sylvia Fowles had 15 points and 12 rebounds, Rebekkah Brunson pitched in 15 points, and Maya Moore had just 11 points on 4-for-14 shooting for the Lynx. They had a staggering 24 turnovers that turned into 23 points for the Sparks.

MERCURY 87, STORM 82

SEATTLE — Brittney Griner had 29 points and 10 rebounds to help Phoenix hold on against Seattle.

Griner, who led the WNBA in scoring and blocks per game last season, shot 10 for 16 from the field and added four assists and three blocks. Briann January finished with 15 points and six assists, while Diana Taurasi and DeWanna Bonner scored 12 points apiece for the Mercury (2-0).

Sue Bird hit a jumper with 1:21 to play and Jordin Canada had a steal and a layup before Natasha Howard made a basket to cap a 6-0 run that pulled Seattle (0-1) within two points with 24.8 seconds left. After January's free throw made it 83-80, Breanna Stewart answered with a layup, but Taurasi hit two foul shots to push the Mercury's lead to three with 9.8 to go. The Storm committed a turnover on their next possession and Bonner hit two free throws to cap the scoring.

Stewart led Seattle with 22 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks.

SUN 101, ACES 65

UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Alyssa Thomas had 13 points, 16 rebounds and six assists to help Connecticut beat expansion Las Vegas in the season opener for both teams.

Tamera Young, who scored the first two points in franchise history on a jumper 51 seconds in, scored 23 for the Aces.

Every Connecticut player scored at least two points, led by Alex Bentley's 18. The Sun hit 11 of 22 from 3-point range, while the Aces shot 26.5 percent from the field, including 1 of 7 from behind the arc. Thomas also had two steals and three blocks.

Rookie A'ja Wilson, the first overall pick in the 2018 WNBA draft, had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Las Vegas.

WINGS 101, DREAM 78

ARLINGTON, Texas — Skyler Diggins-Smith scored 25 points, and Liz Cambage had 21 points, nine rebounds and four blocks to help Dallas beat Atlanta.

Christmas-Kelly finished with 15 points, hitting 11 of 14 free throws, and 10 rebounds, Kaela Davis also scored 15 points, and Kayla Thornton added 13 for the Wings (1-1).

Angel McCoughtry, who sat out last season to rest, had 13 points. She was one of five players to score in double figures for Atlanta (0-1) and hit a jumper early in the fourth quarter to become the 18th player in league history with at least 5,000 career points. The four-time WNBA All-Star is 10 points behind Taj McWilliams-Franklin's 5,013 for 17th on the career list.

MYSTICS 82, FEVER 75

WASHINGTON — Kristi Toliver hit four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points, and Elena Delle Donne had 13 points and seven assists to help Washington beat Indiana.

Delle Donne hit Toliver for a 3 to make it 82-73 with 1:08 remaining. The Fever (0-2) trailed by as many as 14 points early in the fourth quarter, but Candice Dupree made a jumper and then a runner in the lane 26 seconds later to pull the Fever within six with 1:25 to play.

Monique Curry and Tierra Ruffin-Pratt scored 11 points apiece for Washington (1-0), which made 11 of 25 from 3-point range and 15 of 16 free throws.

Natalie Achonwa had career highs of 21 points and 12 rebounds for Indiana. Dupree scored 13 points with 10 boards.

SKY 80, LIBERTY 76

CHICAGO — Allie Quigley scored 15 of her 22 points in the fourth quarter to help Chicago beat New York.

It was the Sky's first game at the new Wintrust Arena.

Jamierra Faulkner had 14 points, five rebounds and five assists. Gabby Williams, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2018 WNBA draft, scored 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting for Chicago.

Tina Charles led New York with 19 points. Rookie Kia Nurse added 17 and Amanda Zahui B scored 15.

Must Read

Green and golden? Australia men's hoop team...

Aug 16, 2016

Australia's Olympic men's basketball team could be on the brink of history

Bolt grabs another gold as Lochte saga consumes...

Aug 19, 2016

Usain Bolt and Ryan Lochte commanded the Olympic spotlight Thursday for drastically different...

Paralympics: As games begin, athletes want...

Sep 7, 2016

London set a new standard for Paralympic attendance and organization

LiAngelo, LaMelo Ball scoreless in pro debut in...

Jan 13, 2018

LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball are scoreless in their regular-season pro debut in Lithuania

Bird highlights US women's world cup roster

Sep 19, 2018

Fresh off winning a third WNBA title, Sue Bird will try to help the U.S. win a third straight FIBA...

Sign up now!