US basketball

Aces clinch No. 1 seed in WNBA playoffs

Aces clinch No. 1 seed in WNBA playoffs

NO. 1. The Las Vegas Aces chase their first WNBA title as the top seed in the playoffs.

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The Las Vegas Aces finish the WNBA regular season with a 26-10 record

On the final day of the regular season, the Las Vegas Aces earned the No. 1 seed in the WNBA playoffs with their 109-100 victory over the visiting Seattle Storm.

The Aces finished the season 26-10 and their chief rivals, the Chicago Sky, notched the same record later Sunday, August 14, (Monday, August 15, Manila time).

Las Vegas owned the head-to-head tiebreaker because the Aces won the season series 2-1 when they beat the Sky on Thursday.

The New York Liberty and Phoenix Mercury locked up the final two spots in the eight-team bracket thanks to Sunday’s results.

The Liberty (16-20) defeated the Atlanta Dream 87-83 to punch their dance ticket. The Mercury (15-21) clinched a spot before taking the court because of the Minnesota Lynx’s loss; Phoenix then fell to Chicago 82-67, cementing it as the eighth seed behind New York.

New York, Phoenix, Atlanta, Minnesota, and the Los Angeles Sparks were vying for two available playoff berths during the final week of the regular season. Atlanta, Minnesota, Los Angeles and the last-place Indiana Fever missed the playoffs and saw their respective seasons end Sunday.

The Connecticut Sun (25-11) completed their regular season Sunday by beating Minnesota. They were already locked into the third seed, and the Storm, Washington Mystics, and Dallas Wings were already locked into the fourth, fifth and sixth seeds.

The WNBA scrapped first- and second-round byes in favor of a new format this year: a single-elimination tournament with the eight best teams. The first round will be best-of-three series and the semifinals and WNBA Finals will be best-of-five. –

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