Elena Delle Donne scored 24 points and hit a crucial turnaround jumper late, Emma Meesseman added a career postseason high 27 points, and the Washington Mystics held on for a 97-95 victory over the Las Vegas Aces in Game 1 of their WNBA semifinal series Tuesday night.
Meesseman also bested her regular-season high of 25 for the top-seeded Mystics, who were playing their first postseason game since being swept by Seattle in last year's WNBA Finals.
A'ja Wilson scored 23 points for Las Vegas, which twice got the deficit as close as two points in the final moments. Liz Cambage had 19 points and 12 rebounds, while Kayla McBride added 19 points.
Connecticut tops Los Angeles
Alyssa Thomas had 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead a balanced Connecticut offense and the Sun opened the WNBA semifinals with an 84-75 win over Los Angeles.
Jasmine Thomas scored 19 points, Jonquel Jones had 16 and Courtney Williams had 15 for the Sun, which won its first playoff game since 2012.
Candace Parker had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Nneka Ogwumike added 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Sparks, who knocked off defending champion Seattle in the second round.
... New York won the WNBA lottery night and will have the first pick in next spring's draft. Dallas will pick second, Indiana third and Atlanta fourth.
The rest of the draft goes by inverse order of the team's regular-season finish, so Phoenix will pick fifth and the Lynx sixth. The rest of the draft order: 7. Seattle, 8. Chicago, 9. Dallas, 10. Connecticut, 11. Connecticut, 12. Washington.
Cheating coach resigns post
A high school coach in Arizona resigned after a school district investigation found that he had shared game strategies and other protected information about his school's football and boys' basketball programs with opposing coaches since at least 2017.
Justin Hager had been head coach of the Mountain Pointe High School girls' varsity basketball team and an assistant for the Pride's football team since 2016.
Officials with the Tempe Union High School District discovered that Hager had shared "play calls, formations and at one point a list of players deemed ineligible" with opposing coaches from a since-deactivated e-mail account. Bruce Kipper, Tempe Union athletic director, said in a letter to the Arizona Interscholastic Association that the district has discovered "hundreds" of e-mails that include "extensive communication" between the e-mail address and opposing coaches.
The investigation failed to determine a motive for Hager's actions.
around the horn
E-sports: A new venture is unveiling a network that hopes to be to e-sports what ESPN has been to traditional sports. VENN is set to launch in 2020 with an expected 55 hours of original programming per week, including gamer streams, talk shows, documentaries and live e-sport events.
NHL: Free agent defenseman Brandon Carlo signed a two-year extension to remain with the Bruins. A 2015 second-round draft pick, Carlo made the leap from major junior hockey to the NHL in 2016-17, he's been a major part of the Bruins' top-four defense group in each of his three seasons.