ATLANTA -- Rookie Shoni Schimmel scored a season-high 24 points and the Atlanta Dream beat the Phoenix Mercury 96-82 Wednesday night to clinch the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Tiffany Hayes had 19 points and Aneika Henry added 15 points and 12 rebounds to help Atlanta (18-14) snap a five-game losing streak. The Dream, who averaged 71.4 points during their skid, were without leading-scorer Angel McCoughtry for the second straight game due to tendinitis in her feet.
Erin Phillips scored 21 points to lead the Mercury (27-5), who have already secured the top spot in the West and home-court advantage throughout the WNBA playoffs. Shay Murphy had 11 points and Tiffany Bias added 10.
Most Valuable Player contender Diana Taurasi and starting guard Penny Taylor were healthy scratches for the Mercury, who won 21 of their previous 22 games.
SKY 72, MYSTICS 69
WASHINGTON -- Sylvia Fowles had 21 points and 16 rebounds and Elena Delle Donne scored 18 to lead Chicago.
The Sky (15-17) improved to 5-1 since Delle Donne returned following a flare-up of Lyme disease, including two victories over the Mystics. The win pulled Chicago into a second-place tie in the Eastern Conference with Washington.
Monique Currie scored 18 points for the Mystics (15-17), who have lost four of six games. In her first career start, rookie Stefanie Dolson had 12 points and 10 rebounds. Washington played without leading rebounder Kia Vaughn (suspension) and guard Kara Lawson (sprained ankle).
Chicago outrebounded the Mystics 41-29 and finished with a 42-30 scoring advantage in the paint.
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press
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