In a previous blog post, it was outlined that the Sun would have to win Tuesday in Washington to clinch a playoff berth. Sunday, the Mystics made sure that wasn't the case.
With its 86-82 loss to the Sacramento Monarchs, Washington dropped to 14-17 and officially pushed the Sun into the WNBA postseason. Here's why:
At 17-13, the Sun can lose out and still finish at 17-17, which is the best possible record for both Washington and New York (13-17). But the Liberty and Mystics still have one game to play between each other on Thursday, meaning one of them can't reach .500 and thus, catch the Sun. With Chicago (12-19) already out of striking distance of Connecticut, it ensures the Sun their fifth playoff berth in as many years.
A New York loss Sunday to Detroit also would have clinched it for Connecticut. But Erin Thorn hit a buzzer beater to lift the Liberty to an 85-84 win and keep them well within reach of Washington.
Tuesday's game in Washington still remains important, though. At 1.5 games back of Indiana with four games to play, the Sun are still trying to catch the Fever for second place and homecourt advantage in at least the first round of the playoffs. They meet again Wednesday in Indiana for their final regular-season meeting this year.