RESULTS: By date WNBA FINALS: Atlanta-Seattle CONFERENCE FINALS: Seattle-Phoenix | New York-Atlanta CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS: Seattle-Los Angeles | Phoenix-San Antonio | Washington-Atlanta | New York-Indiana
All tipoffs ET.
Seattle swept Phoenix in the Western Conference finals to reach its first WNBA finals since winning the league championship in 2004. Atlanta, in its third season, advanced to its first finals in franchise history after sweeping New York. The Storm won both regular-season meetings with the Dream, winning 90-72 at home June 1, and 80-70 on the road Aug. 10. Lauren Jackson scored 32 points (her season high is 33) in the first matchup.
The teams split four regular-season meetings (Atlanta won on the road in May and at home in July; the Liberty won at home in June and on the road in August). The largest victory was a 12-point Liberty win in New York in June. Though Atlanta's Angel McCoughtry and New York's Cappie Pondexter each scored 21 points in the first meeting this season (a Dream win), the team whose player scored the most points in the ensuing three contests won. For Pondexter, that meant a 31-point performance in August and a 25.8 scoring average in the series; McCoughtry's 21 ppg in the series was highlighted by a 28-point performance in July.
The Storm won all five regular-season meetings, but only one game -- a 23-point victory in June -- was a blowout. Two of Seattle's victories (in May and July) were by six points, but the other July contest went to triple-overtime, with Seattle winning, 111-107, on Sue Bird's 3-pointer with six seconds remaining). The teams' most recent meeting, on Aug. 20, was a five-point Storm victory, but many starters played limited minutes (Diana Taurasi didn't play at all). Seattle is coming off its first playoff series victory since winning the WNBA title in 2004; Phoenix is the defending WNBA champion.
The Storm and Sparks meet in the first round for the third consecutive season and fourth time in five years. Seattle, playing without injured Lauren Jackson, lost to Los Angeles in the first round the past two seasons. This summer, the Storm went 5-0 against the Sparks, with a 10.8-point average margin of victory. Seattle went 17-0 at KeyArena, becoming just the second WNBA team to go undefeated at home in the regular season (the Sparks were 16-0 in 2001).
The Mercury and Silver Stars split their four-game series in the regular season, with each team going 1-1 at home. The Mercury are the defending WNBA champion. The teams met in Sunday's regular-season finale, an 83-82 San Antonio victory. Phoenix's Diana Taurasi did not play in that game.
The Mystics earned a top seed for the first time in franchise history. They also notched their first season with more than 20 wins and are playing in the postseason in back-to-back seasons for the first time. Atlanta, which is playing in its second straight playoffs in the franchise's third season, set a franchise record for regular-season victories (19). The Mystics won the regular-season series 3-1; the Dream's lone win was at Washington back on June 5.
The Liberty and Fever split their four-game series in the regular season, with each team going 1-1 at home. Indiana, last season's WNBA runner-up, ended the regular season on a three-game losing streak. New York wrapped up the regular season winning 11 of its final 12 games, including a franchise-record 10 straight.