The Chicago Sky and the host Los Angeles Sparks are in a tight battle for the eighth and final playoff spot as they meet Tuesday night.
The Sparks (15-19) hold a 1 1/2-game lead over the Sky (14-21) for the No. 8 seed with less than two weeks remaining in the regular season. The Sparks are a half-game behind seventh-place Atlanta.
But the Sky have won two of the three head-to-head meetings with the Sparks so a victory Tuesday would not only pull them within a half-game of Los Angeles, but give them the tiebreaker.
"We want to get in the playoffs and so do they, so we know it's going to be a hard fight," Chicago guard Dana Evans said.
The Sky have won just two of their last eight games, both of which came against Seattle in the last three games. Chicago outscored the visiting Storm 22-10 in the fourth quarter to win 90-85 on Sunday.
"This is one of the most proud moments for me," Chicago coach Emre Vatansever said. "Overall we've been playing really good games. We showed big character (Sunday). They're playing hard and got rewarded by the result."
The Sparks had won a season-high six games in a row before losing to the Connecticut Sun 83-68 on Sunday in head coach Curt Miller's return to the place where he coached for the last seven seasons.
Miller said the visit was "a little bit overwhelming" after he guided the Sun to playoff appearances in each of the last six seasons, including Finals appearances in 2019 and 2022.
Now he's trying to bring Los Angeles back to the playoffs after a two-year absence.
"In the beginning of the year we had a lot of adversity with people being injured," guard Jordin Canada said. "But toward the end of the season we're really starting to find our flow and our chemistry and we're connecting. We're starting to click at the right time, which is super important when we're fighting for a playoff position."
—Field Level Media