MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Seimone Augustus scored 17 points and the Minnesota Lynx beat the Los Angeles Sparks 87-68 on Saturday night to earn their first playoff berth since 2004.
Candice Wiggins added 13 points, including four 3-pointers for Minnesota (20-6), which tied a team record for wins in a season and entered the day leading the Western Conference by 4 1/2 games over second-place Phoenix. Monica Wright scored 11 points for the Lynx, who also own the WNBA's best record by two games over East-leading Indiana (18-8).
Candace Parker had 18 points and eight rebounds in her second start since returning from knee surgery for Los Angeles (10-15), which fell further behind fourth-place Seattle for the final playoff spot in the West.
Storm 63, Liberty 62
SEATTLE (AP) - Lauren Jackson scored 20 points in her return from a hip injury to help Seattle rally past New York.
Katie Smith hit a 3-pointer with 1:13 left to put Seattle (14-12) ahead after New York led 62-57.
Sue Bird added 14 points and Camille Little 11 for Seattle.
Jackson, a three-time WNBA MVP, returned after missing 20 games. She fouled out with 4 minutes left.
Plenette Pierson had 15 points for New York (15-12). Essence Carson and Cappie Pondexter each added 12.
Vaughn missed a 13-footer with 6.9 seconds left that would have given the Liberty a one-point lead. Carson then stole an inbound pass with 3 seconds left but had the ball stripped by Bird as she drove toward the basket and time expired.
Mercury 87, Silver Stars 81
PHOENIX (AP) - Penny Taylor scored 16 of her 28 points in the fourth quarter and Phoenix beat San Antonio without the injured Diana Taurasi.
Candice Dupree had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and DeWanna Bonner added 13 points for the Mercury, who won for the fourth time in five games.
Taurasi was a game-time scratch with back spasms.
Becky Hammon had 20 points and 10 assists, Ruth Riley had 16 points and Scholanda Robinson added 15 for the Silver Stars, who have dropped three straight and four of their last five.
Sky 71, Mystics 70
WASHINGTON (AP) - Epiphanny Prince made two of three free throws with 0.7 seconds remaining and Chicago beat Washington in a game that featured 18 lead changes.
The Sky trailed by one when the Mystics' Matee Ajavon missed a pair of free throws and the ball went out of bounds to the Sky with 2.5 seconds left. After Chicago inbounded, Prince crossed halfcourt and pulled up for a long jumper.
Ajavon contested the shot as the final buzzer sounded with the referees signaling a foul. After reviewing the tape, the officials sent Prince to the line for three free throws and put 0.7 on the clock. Prince hit the first two and missed the third on purpose. The buzzer sounded as the teams fought for control of the rebound.