2021 WNBA playoffs – Schedule, news and latest updates

It came down to the last shot of Sunday’s final regular-season game, but the 2021 WNBA playoff seeds and schedule are finally set. The New York Liberty wrapped up their season Friday, but they advanced as the No. 8 seed after both the Washington Mystics and Los Angeles Sparks lost on Sunday.

The Liberty are making their first trip to the postseason since 2017. New York won just two games in 2020, but now last season’s No. 1 draft pick, Sabrina Ionescu, and reigning Most Improved Player Betnijah Laney will make their playoff debuts.

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The Mystics, who won the 2019 WNBA title, hadn’t missed the playoffs since 2016. The Sparks’ streak of nine consecutive playoff appearances also ended — they last failed to advance to the postseason in 2011.

The playoffs open Thursday with two single-elimination games.

In the first round, the sixth-seeded Chicago Sky host the Dallas Wings, and the fifth-seeded Phoenix Mercury host New York. Dallas won its regular-season series with Chicago 2-1, while Phoenix went 2-1 against New York.

The top-seeded Connecticut Sun, who have home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, and the No. 2-seeded Las Vegas Aces have double byes into the semifinals. The No. 3-seeded Minnesota Lynx and fourth-seeded Seattle Storm have first-round byes and will each host Thursday’s winners in the second round.

Playoff schedule

First round (single-game elimination)
Thursday, Sept. 23
No. 7 Dallas Wings at No. 6 Chicago Sky, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
No. 8 New York Liberty at No. 5 Phoenix Mercury, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Second round (single-game elimination)
Sunday, Sept. 26
TBD at No. 4 Seattle Storm, 3 p.m. (ABC)
TBD at No. 3 Minnesota Lynx, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)

Semifinals (best of five)
Tuesday, Sept. 28
Game 1: TBD at No. 1 Connecticut Sun, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Game 1: TBD at No. 2 Las Vegas Aces, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Thursday, Sept. 30
Game 2: TBD at Connecticut Sun, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Game 2: TBD at Las Vegas Aces, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Sunday, Oct. 3
Game 3: Connecticut Sun at TBD, TBD (TBD)
Game 3: Las Vegas at TBD, TBD (TBD)

Wednesday, Oct 6
Game 4*: Connecticut Sun at TBD, TBD (ESPN)
Game 4*: Las Vegas Aces at TBD, TBD (ESPN)

Game 5: Friday, Oct. 8

Game 5*: TBD at Connecticut Sun, TBD (ESPN2)
Game 5*: TBD at Las Vegas Aces, TBD (ESPN2)

WNBA Finals (best of five)
Game 1: Sunday, Oct. 10, 3 p.m. ET (ABC)
Game 2: Wednesday, Oct. 13, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Game 3: Friday, Oct. 15, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Game 4*: Sunday, Oct. 17, 3 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Game 5*: Tuesday, Oct. 19, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

* If necessary

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