As the top seeds in their respective conferences, the Chicago Sky and Minnesota Lynx are arguably the favorites to meet in the WNBA finals.
The winning team in their final regular-season matchup would get a significant advantage should both reach the championship series.
The Sky and Lynx will each try to clinch home-court advantage throughout the postseason Saturday night in Minnesota.
After facing Chicago, the Lynx (25-8) will try to reach the finals for the third straight time and atone for last season’s defeat to Indiana. The Sky (24-9), meanwhile, are heading to the playoffs for the first time in their eight seasons of existence.
Chicago, though, can also add the league’s best record to the list of its achievements in this breakthrough campaign with a third straight victory over Minnesota.
In the only other matchup this season, Sky rookie star and MVP candidate Elena Delle Donne had a career-high 32 points and Sylvia Fowles scored 31 in a 94-86 overtime victory Aug. 11.
Delle Donne kept Chicago’s hopes for the league’s best record alive Wednesday with a buzzer beater in a 70-68 victory over Phoenix. Epiphanny Prince had 16 of her season-high 29 points in the fourth quarter in another comeback win Friday, 87-82 against Atlanta.
“We feel like these games are preparing us for the playoff atmosphere,” said Prince, who was 9 of 16 from the field. “We had a lot on the line, so we wanted to go out there and gut it out.”
The Lynx are returning home after having a seven-game win streak snapped Thursday with an 85-84 defeat to Los Angeles, the No. 2 seed in the West. Seimone Augustus, who signed a three-year extension Friday, had a team-best 23 points in the losing effort.
“We’ve just got to make plays,” she said. “That’s what it was all about coming to the end of the fourth quarter.”
While it’s lost the past two matchups in the series, Minnesota has won the past two home meetings. The latest visit from Chicago, however, was on June 23, 2012, and Prince was forced to miss that game with a fractured right foot.
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