Let the seeding begin

The Lynx took down the Silver Stars today, 81-62, and claimed the top playoff seed in the Western Conference.

The Fever dropped the Mercury, 89-83. Phoenix’s loss gives the Storm the fourth and final playoff spot in the West.

The Dream cruised past the Mystics, 93-68. And somehow, Washington coach Trudi Lacey still has a job. (I truly don’t get it)……

The Sun came from behind to ice the Sky, 82-77.

Inexplicably, the Liberty beat the Sparks, 73-71. It’s the Sparks’ fourth loss in five games, and the culprit seems to be free throws: Los Angeles was only 8-16 from the charity stripe.

Sparks at Liberty quotes:

Liberty Coach John Whisenant

On today’s game

“Today was a good win. I thought our team played with great effort and intensity; even though in the first couple of quarters we broke down defensively and gave up some easy baskets. I told them at halftime to just keep plugging and doing what you’re doing and let’s not make these mistakes. They were running bigs down the court and beating us. We stopped that in the second half, holding them to seven points in the third quarter. The defense got us back in the game. We all played hard and played together.”

On the playoffs

“We have the more favorable schedule between us and Chicago. Chicago is playing very well. Just because we have a more advantageous schedule on paper, that doesn’t mean anything until you win or lose them. I think Chicago is going to play it out. We’ve got to play like we have to win every game. If we get into the playoffs with a three game series and we play as hard as we did tonight, there won’t be anybody more athletically gifted like we did played tonight.”

On Cappie Pondexter

“We had a super game from our Captain (Cappie Pondexter), she had 12 rebounds, 21points, and eight assists. That’s a pretty good game and with good leadership.”

Cappie Pondexter

On tonight’s win

“I’m happy for a lot of different reasons. I think we fought hard. I think at one point we were down almost 16 points. I told the guys at halftime that if we fight back and be victorious, it’s going to feel even better than winning. It shows our hard work and dedication and our fight. I think we displayed that especially in the third quarter. We had so much energy. We held them to seven points, which might be a season low for them in a quarter. I think we did a great job containing Candace (Parker) and I credit that to our defensive players, Alex (Montgomery) and Essence (Carson) did a terrific job and Plenette [Pierson] did a terrific job.”

On Liberty offense

“A lot of times when we get tired because we play so hard defensively, we tend to stand. I think the most important thing for us is working on our weak side. We continue to move and get shots on the weak side. It’s easy for a team to play defense. For us we can’t let them off easy by just standing there and watching and getting our breath in on the offensive end. We have to move, we have to cut, and we have to set screens. We have to do other things off the ball and I think that’s what we need to work on.”

Plenette Pierson

On tonight’s win

“It feels great to get this win. We felt like we gave up one against Chicago last game. So to get in here and get one against a quality team like Los Angeles with a lot of veteran leadership was great. I think we were down by 15 at the half. To come back, it shows the character the team has- we’re resilient and we’re never going to give up.”

On the difference tonight

“It was our defense, we stepped it up tonight. We were very aggressive on all their players, trying to frustrate them and make them take tough shots. It worked out in our favor.”

Sparks Coach Carol Ross

On tonight’s game

“We have plenty of stuff to move forward with in terms of just trying to be the best playoff team we can be. We still have more business to take care of before we get to the fun stuff.”

Kristi Toliver

On the second half

“We didn’t play very well in the second half; it is something we are trying to battle through. We are continuing to learn lessons on the road. Hopefully we can learn, grow, and get better for the playoffs.”