Seattle is at Washington on Friday and Chicago on Sunday to wrap up the regular season.
Heading into the final weekend of the WNBA regular season, a few paths remain for the Storm to advance to the postseason.
Seattle (14-18) could clinch the league’s final playoff berth with a win in one of its two remaining games. Or the Storm could back into the playoffs if Chicago and Atlanta — which are tied at 12-20 — fails to win its final two games.
“We treat everything as a playoff game,” interim coach Gary Kloppenburg said before Friday’s 4 p.m. PDT contest at Washington. “We don’t want to depend on someone else to get in. We want to get ourselves in there.
Storm @ Washington, 4 p.m., NBA
“We battled here late in the season to get ourselves in position to get in, and we want to get in under our own terms.”
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Washington (17-15), which has lost three straight and five of its last six, isn’t likely to roll over for Seattle. The Mystics, which end the regular season at WNBA-leading Minnesota, needs a win in one of its final two games to clinch a first-round home playoff game.
The Storm fell out of the playoff chase early in August due to a four-game losing streak that dropped Seattle to 10-16 and precipitated the firing of coach Jenny Boucek.
Since Kloppenburg took over Aug. 10, the Storm is 4-2, including victories in his first four games.
In its last two outings, the Storm lost 89-83 at Atlanta and fell 75-71 to Phoenix on Sunday in its regular-season home finale.
Under Kloppenburg, Seattle is 2-2 in games decided by 10 points or fewer. Before he took over, the Storm was 1-9 in the previous 10 games decided by the same margin.
“I think we played well enough to win in the two games that we lost,” Kloppenburg said. “We were one or two plays away.
“That’s the way our league is. That’s what I told the team. Just get ourselves in position at the end of the game to win, and then you have an opportunity to make plays. Sometimes you make them and sometimes you don’t.”
Seattle wraps up the regular season at Chicago. The Sky needs a Storm loss and a win at Minnesota on Friday to set up a decisive showdown with Seattle for the last postseason berth on Sunday.
Atlanta must win at defending WNBA champion Los Angeles and Phoenix in its final two games to preserve its playoff hopes.
If Seattle finishes the regular season tied with either Chicago or Atlanta, then the Storm would lose head-to-head tiebreaker scenarios due to a 1-2 record against both teams this season.
In the event of a three-way tie, Seattle would also be eliminated and Chicago would advance.
With two wins and a Dallas defeat, Seattle would overtake the Wings (16-17) for the No. 7 playoff spot for a playoff game against the No. 6 seed.
However, if the standings remain the same after Sunday, the Storm will return to Washington on Wednesday as the No. 8 seed for a one-game, first-round playoff matchup against the No. 5 seed Mystics.
Seattle is 1-1 against Washington, including an 81-71 win on May 21 at KeyArena and a 100-70 defeat at Capital One Arena on June 27.
• Sue Bird (2,597) needs three assists to pass Ticha Penicheiro (2,599) and claim the WNBA record.
• Crystal Langhorne leads the WNBA, shooting 65.9 percentage on field goals. She’s within striking distance of the league’s single-season record of 66.5 set by Tamika Raymond in 2003.
|Three for one|
|Seattle, Chicago and Atlanta are competing for the WNBA’s eighth and final playoff spot. Each team has two games left.|
|Seattle (14-18)||@Washington||@ Chicago|
|Atlanta||@Los Angeles||@ Phoenix|