A dominant career-high scoring effort from Liz Cambage was one of the highlights of not only the week, but the season to this point as the Opals centre continued to build a mounting case to be in the reckoning for MVP.
Cambage was in unstoppable form against Chicago early in the week, leading her Dallas Wings side to a comprehensive 108-85 victory. Shooting a highly efficient 16 of 20 from the field, Cambage poured in a career-high 37 points whilst also collecting 10 rebounds and dishing out 4 assists to lead from the front as the Wings moved to 8-8 with the dominant win.
Cayla George came off the bench for the Wings, tallying 5 points and 2 rebounds in 10 minutes of action.
The Wings hosted the bottom-placed Indiana Fever in their second game of the week, with Cambage going close to another double-double in the Dallas side’s ruthless 90-63 victory.
Although turnovers were an issue for the Opals star, with Cambage coughing the ball up six times, she was still able to contribute an impressive 17 points and 9 rebounds in just 26 minutes on court, with George again coming off the bench to tally 3 points and an impressive 5 rebounds in her 11 minute cameo.
Travelling to New York for their final game of the week, Dallas came out firing in a 30-point first quarter which set the platform for a 97-87 victory.
Cambage and Liberty star Tina Charles played out another must-watch battle, with the Australian coming away with 19 points, 12 rebounds, and most importantly, a win that moved the Wings to 10-8 and firmly entrenched in the playoff spots at this point.
George saw far less playing time than she had seen in the preceding couple of games, finishing scoreless in 6 minutes on court, whilst for the Liberty, Rebecca Allen buried her only three-point attempt to finish with 5 points and 2 rebounds in 5 minutes off the bench.
Phoenix split a pair of games this week, giving up the lead in the standings in the process, but things still look fairly rosy for the Mercury as they remain in second place.
Opening the week against Connecticut, Phoenix allowed the Sun to cut a double-digit advantage to a single point with four minutes to play, but regrouped to secure an 84-77 victory.
Leilani Mitchell saw 23 minutes off the bench for the understrength Mercury, finishing with 8 points and 2 assists, whilst Steph Talbot finished scoreless with an assist and a rebound in her 6 minutes on court.
The Mercury travelled to Atlanta for their second and final game of the week, and were unable to reel in the Dream after the home side opened up an early lead, falling 76-70 despite a three from Mitchell trimming a margin that had exceeded 20 to just five in the final minute.
That three formed part of a 10-point outing in 18 minutes off the bench for Mitchell, with the Opals point guard adding 3 rebounds and 2 assists. Talbot again finished scoreless, collecting 2 rebounds in her 8 minutes on court.
LEI-UPS pic.twitter.com/dJsmf9EptQ— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) July 8, 2018
Seattle moved ahead of Phoenix to the top of the WNBA standings with three wins this week, but Sami Whitcomb unfortunately saw little playing time for the Storm.
Riding a 23-9 second quarter to a 77-62 victory over New York, Seattle were able to use all 12 players, but Whitcomb was afforded just three minutes of playing time off the bench, finishing scoreless after missing on her only field goal attempt.
For the Liberty, fellow Australian Rebecca Allen also saw precious little playing time, seeing four minutes of action and also finishing scoreless on two field goal attempts.
The Storm then travelled to Atlanta to face the Dream, and despite allowing a 19-point lead to slip to just six early in the fourth quarter, Seattle held on to secure a 95-86 victory. However, Whitcomb did not see any playing time as the Seattle rotation ran only ten deep with no bench player seeing more than 14 minutes.
Whitcomb was also unused in Seattle’s final game of the week, a 97-91 victory over Washington that saw the Storm unleash a 31-point third quarter to overturn a slender halftime deficit before rounding out the win.
Aside from her efforts against Dallas and Seattle, Rebecca Allen also faced Washington this week, with the Liberty falling to an 86-67 loss after allowing the Mystics to put together a 22-8 final quarter which extinguished any chances New York may have had to win. Allen was again used sparingly, finishing with a single rebound in just two minutes on court.