The first two rounds of the WNBA playoffs are officially in the books. In Round 1, the Phoenix Mercury defeated the Seattle Storm, 79-69, to advance to the second round. Then, Mercury surprisingly beat the Connecticut Sun, 88-83, in the second round to advance to the semifinals against the Los Angeles Sparks.
Just like the Storm, the Washington Mystics collected two victories to keep their championship hopes alive. Washington defeated the Dallas Wings in the first round and followed that up with an 82-68 victory over the New York Liberty in Round 2. Kristi Toliver connected on nine 3-point shots to help Washington move on to the semifinals.
Now, the Mystics will collide with the Minnesota Lynx in the semifinals. The Los Angeles Sparks are trying to defend their title, led by the one-two punch of Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike. Parker had another strong year, averaging 16.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game, while Ogwumike led the Sparks in scoring at 18.8 points per contest.
Last year, the Sparks beat the Lynx in the five-game championship series with a thrilling 77-76 Game 5 win. Ogwumike hit the game-winning shot with just seconds left on the clock.
Let’s hope this year’s WNBA Playoffs can have more moments as fun as that one. Here’s what you need to know to tune in.
The WNBA Playoffs open with a series of single-elimination games. The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the bracket are given byes to the semifinals, while the other six teams could be sent packing quickly.
The first round of elimination games sees a pair of games involving the No. 5 through No. 8 seeds. The winners of those games advance to elimination games against the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds.
Finally, then comes the semifinals, where the two teams that advanced out of the elimination stage will each play a five-game series against the top two seeds. The WNBA Finals are also a five-game series.
Keep track of the postseason bracket here.
Round 1: Single elimination
Wednesday, Sept. 6: No. 6 Washington 86 vs. No. 7 Dallas 76
Wednesday, Sept. 6: No. 5 Phoenix 79 vs. No. 8 Seattle 69
Round 2: Single elimination
Sunday, Sept. 10: No. 5 Phoenix 88 vs. No. 4 Connecticut 83
Sunday, Sept. 10: No. 6 Mystics 82 vs. No. 3 68 New York
Semifinals: Five-game series
No. 1 Minnesota vs. TBD
Game 1: Tuesday, Sept. 12 — Washington at Minnesota (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
Game 2: Thursday, Sept. 14 — Washington at Minnesota (8 p.m., ESPN2)
Game 3: Sunday, Sept. 17 — Minnesota at Washington (3 p.m., ESPN)
Game 4 (if necessary): Tuesday, Sept. 19 — Minnesota at Washington, (TBD, ESPN2)
Game 5 (if necessary): Thursday, Sept. 21 — Washington at Minnesota, (TBD, ESPN2)
No. 2 Los Angeles vs. TBD
Game 1: Tuesday, Sept. 12 — Phoenix at Los Angeles (10 p.m., ESPN2)
Game 2: Thursday, Sept. 14 — Phoenix at Los Angeles (10 p.m., on ESPN2)
Game 3: Sunday, Sept. 17 — Los Angeles at Phoenix (5 p.m., on ESPN2)
Game 4 (if necessary): Tuesday, Sept. 19 — Los Angeles at Phoenix, (TBD, ESPN2)
Game 5 (if necessary): Thursday, Sept. 21 — Phoenix at Los Angeles, (TBD, ESPN2)
WNBA Finals: Five-game series
Game 1: Sunday, Sept. 24
Game 2: Tuesday, Sept. 26
Game 3: Friday, Sept. 29
Game 4: (if necessary): Sunday, Oct. 1
Game 5: (if necessary): Wednesday, Oct. 4