WNBA Weekly Updates


https://mediacentral.nba.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/53/2016/05/WNBA-Basketball.jpg MINNESOTA MILESTONES: The Minnesota Lynx has tipped off its title defense in emphatic fashion, defeating the Phoenix Mercury (95-76) and Chicago Sky (97-80). Maya Moore handed out a career-high 10 assists in the season opener against Phoenix, while Sylvia Fowles notched her 100th career double-double in the same game. Fowles became the third player in WNBA history with that many double-doubles, joining Lisa Leslie (157) and the New York Liberty’s Tina Charles (111). And Fowles recorded No. 101 in Wednesday’s win over the Sky, finishing with 24 points and 13 rebounds in her first game against her former team. Also Wednesday, Fowles became the 19th player in league history to reach 2,000 rebounds. Meanwhile, teammate Lindsay Whalen is closing in on a milestone of her own. Whalen needs eight points to pass Sheryl Swoopes (4,875) for 15th place on the WNBA’s all-time scoring list.

https://mediacentral.nba.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/53/2016/05/WNBA-Basketball.jpg NEW YORK, NEW YORK: The Liberty has talked of unfinished business after last season — the best in franchise history at a league-best 23-11 — ended with a home loss to the Indiana Fever in the decisive Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Fueled by that disappointment, New York is off to its first 2-0 start since 2011. Tina Charles posted 24 and 11 rebounds in each game, while Sugar Rodgers (21.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 3.5 spg) totaled nine three-pointers in victories over the Washington Mystics and Dallas Wings. New York goes for 3-0 when it plays host to Candace Parker and the Los Angeles Sparks on Saturday, May 21 at 6 p.m. ET on WNBA LEAGUE PASS.

https://mediacentral.nba.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/53/2016/05/WNBA-Basketball.jpg GRAND OPENING: Candace Parker dominated in her season debut, recording 34 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals in the Sparks’ 96-66 victory over the Seattle Storm. The performance was reminiscent of Parker’s play after her midseason return in 2015, when she averaged 19.4 points, 10.1 rebounds and 6.3 assists in 16 games to fuel the Sparks’ playoff run. The two-time WNBA MVP presented by Samsung has served early notice that she could be back in the conversation for the league’s top individual award in 2016. Parker will face the WNBA’s reigning MVP, Elena Delle Donne, when the Sparks visit the Chicago Sky on Tuesday, May 24 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2.


What to watch for around the WNBA over the next week (all times Eastern):

https://mediacentral.nba.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/53/2016/05/WNBA-Basketball.jpg Friday, May 20: Breanna Stewart, who had 23 points, six rebounds and three assists in her WNBA debut, leads the Storm into Phoenix as Diana Taurasi and the Mercury play their home opener (10 p.m., WNBA LEAGUE PASS).

https://mediacentral.nba.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/53/2016/05/WNBA-Basketball.jpg Saturday, May 21: The Dallas Wings play their first home game in their new home when they meet the San Antonio Stars at 8:30 p.m. on NBA TV.

https://mediacentral.nba.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/53/2016/05/WNBA-Basketball.jpg Sunday, May 22: WNBA Tip-Off 2016 presented by Verizon concludes with the home opener for the Storm, which faces the Lynx in Seattle (7 p.m., LEAGUE PASS).

https://mediacentral.nba.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/53/2016/05/WNBA-Basketball.jpg Tuesday, May 24: Along with Sparks-Sky on ESPN2, NBA TV’s telecast features Angel McCoughtry and the Atlanta Dream visiting the Liberty at 11 a.m.

https://mediacentral.nba.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/53/2016/05/WNBA-Basketball.jpg Wednesday, May 25: The Mercury looks to avenge its season-opening loss to the Lynx as the two three-time WNBA champions and Western Conference rivals square off in Phoenix (10 p.m., WNBA LEAGUE PASS).


https://mediacentral.nba.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/53/2016/05/WNBA-Basketball.jpg For all games this season, WNBA.com is offering advanced box scores (which include categories such as effective field goal percentage, rebounding percentage and offensive and defensive rating) to go with traditional box scores (points, rebounds and assists). Click here for examples of both box scores and check out an advanced stat glossary.  Also this season, the league will make available the traditional box score for every game in WNBA history and provide sortable statistics for teams and players.

https://mediacentral.nba.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/53/2016/05/WNBA-Basketball.jpg Last Saturday’s opening-night game between the Lynx and Mercury delivered ESPN’s best audience for a WNBA regular-season game on the ESPN networks (excluding ABC) since 2001. An average of 505,000 viewers watched Minnesota’s 95-76 victory.

https://mediacentral.nba.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/53/2016/05/WNBA-Basketball.jpg The Indiana Fever had a franchise-record seven players score in double figures in Wednesday’s97-93 win over the Mercury. Erica Wheeler scored a career-high 16 points as the Fever overcame Diana Taurasi’s 32 points.

https://mediacentral.nba.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/53/2016/05/WNBA-Basketball.jpg Dallas’ Odyssey Sims has made 24-of-26 free throws and averaged 16.7 points during the Wings’ 2-1 start.


https://mediacentral.nba.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/53/2016/05/WNBA-Basketball.jpg Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors forward: “I learn more from the WNBA. They know how to dribble, how to pivot, how to use the shot fake.”

https://mediacentral.nba.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/53/2016/05/WNBA-Basketball.jpg Max Resetar, SLAM: “[T]here hasn’t been a better time than now to tune in [to the WNBA]. … The League is littered with extremely talented players, who can shoot, pass, dribble, rebound and defend.”

https://mediacentral.nba.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/53/2016/05/WNBA-Basketball.jpg Maya Moore, Lynx forward: “It gives us a chance to look back and remember the great shoulders we stand on and the great moments that have happened to build up to this 20th season. So it will be fun to celebrate where we’ve been and where we are going. So I think there is going to be a lot of excitement around this season. It will be reflected in the quality of the games as our league gets more talented every year.”

https://mediacentral.nba.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/53/2016/05/WNBA-Basketball.jpg Tim Booth, Associated Press: “[Seattle’s Sue] Bird still remains the American standard for point guards. It’s why she’s on yet another Olympic team bound for Brazil later this summer. And it’s why Bird will be the one to decide when she’s ready to walk away from the professional game.”

https://mediacentral.nba.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/53/2016/05/WNBA-Basketball.jpg Katie Smith, WNBA legend and Liberty assistant coach: “My favorite [part of coaching] is to try to figure out how each player can have success in their individual world. Some people are going to be the all-stars, some are going to be role players. But how do we get you to have the best experience and get the most out of that? And that’s not only practice and player development, but enjoying the ride a little bit.”

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