The WNBA Weekly Recap: Week 12

By Josh Cohen

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Diana Taurasi erupted for 33 points Sunday in Phoenix's season-saving win over Houston to match Lauren Jackson for most 30-point games in WNBA history with 20.
Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images
Teams Now Scramble For Home-Court Advantage

Should Be a Wild Final Week in the WNBA: Home-court advantage in the playoffs is extremely imperative to win a championship. In fact, during this past seasonís NBA playoffs, 13 of the 15 series were won by the team who had the home-court edge. With seven of the eight WNBA playoff spots secured, moreover, the final week of the regular season will serve as a crucial time to help all teams increase their chances of holding the trophy in October. The top two squads in the West, San Antonio and Seattle, are a combined 28-3 at home this year, while the premier pair in the East, Connecticut and Detroit, are 24-7. In 2007, Phoenix had the No. 1 seed in the West and utilized its home-court advantage over the Storm and Silver Stars to advance to the Finals and eventually become WNBA champions. When there is a great deal of balance and parity in a league, as there is this season in the WNBA, the benefits of playing at home can be vital for a team's confidence. Some significant matchups this last week include: Silver Stars at Liberty, Sun at Silver Stars, Shock at Liberty and Storm at Sparks. Stay tuned to see how seedings turn out.

Congratulations Candace!: It sure didnít take long for Candace Parker to celebrate the earning of a playoff berth. The rookie sensation, who has been nothing short of spectacular in her first year in the WNBA, will get her first taste of WNBA postseason action after helping L.A. clinch a spot with Saturdayís triumph in Houston. Itís very possible, furthermore, that Parker will be the main reason why all eight playoff teams from 2007 do not compete for a title again in 2008. If the regular season ended today, the Sparks would be the only team in this yearís postseason that did not qualify last season. The defending champs, as a result, would be the surprising odd team out. All four Eastern Conference teams from 2007, Connecticut, Detroit, New York and Indiana, will be returning to the playoffs. Sacramento, meanwhile in the West, is one victory away from being the final team to secure a playoff spot after eliminating Minnesota on Sunday.
"They were giving me so much attention and I have no problem passing to my teammates. If people want to pay me attention, we have a lot of people who can score."

-- Silver Stars guard Becky Hammon, after recording 24 points and five assists on Sunday in Connecticut to help San Antonio retain first place in the West.

Diana Taurasi, Mercury
Three Games: 23-49 FG, 10-21 3-pt, 35-38 FT

Sue Bird, Storm
Three Games: 22-38 FG, 6-12 3-pt, 13-14 FT

Janel McCarville, Liberty
Three Games: 31-51 FG, 8-13 FT

Candace Parker, Sparks
Three Games: 19-32 FG, 3-4 3-pt, 12-15 FT

Candice Wiggins, Lynx
Four Games: 16-49 FG, 2-23 3-pt

Ivory Latta, Dream
Two Games: 5-20 FG, 1-7 3-pt, 2-5 FT

Lisa Leslie, Sparks
Three Games: 15-34 FG, 8-17 FT

Alana Beard, Mystics
Two Games: 12-31 FG, 3-11 3-pt


  • Mercury-Shock: Tues., 7 ET (ESPN2)
  • Mystics-Shock: Thurs., 7:30 ET (NBA TV)
  • Dream-Sparks: Thurs., 10:30 ET (NBA TV)
  • Liberty-Sky: Fri., 8:30 ET (NBA TV)
  • Mystics-Sun: Sat., 4 ET (NBA TV)
  • Storm-Sparks: Sun., 4:30 ET (ESPN2)
  • McCarville

    Earlier this season, Tina Thompson and Katie Smith eclipsed 5,000 career points and Lisa Leslie, who in 2006 became the first to reach the 5K scoring plateau, surpassed 3,000 career rebounds. In addition, Diana Taurasi notched 3,000 points faster than any other player in WNBA history and Candace Parker joined Leslie as the only two players to dunk in a league game. It was only fitting, therefore, that another player exceeded a different milestone this year. Ticha Penicheiro, in fact, became the first player in league history to record 2,000 assists on Friday during Sacramentoís defeat in Phoenix. Her eight dimes on Sunday in a victory over the Lynx, nonetheless, helped the Monarchs inch closer to securing their sixth straight playoff berth.
    Itís hard sometimes to understand why Taj McWilliams-Franklin has been traded three times in the past two seasons. The six-time WNBA All-Star is one of the most efficient scorers in league history, an unwavering defensive presence and a first-rate rebounder. But the truth of the matter is, top players often have more value on specific teams and right now for Taj, that squad is in Detroit. Since being dealt during the Olympic break, McWilliams-Franklin has led the Shock to a 3-1 record, including a victory over the Mystics on Saturday that eliminated her former team from playoff contention. Taj racked up a game-high 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the floor and 5-of-5 from the free throw line. She also had nine rebounds, two blocks, an assist and a steal.