|Wings cling to last playoff spot entering game with Sun|
It was just last week that the Connecticut Sun won in Dallas and clinched a spot in the WNBA playoffs.
On Tuesday night in Uncasville, Conn., the teams meet again -- and the floundering Wings, fighting to stay alive for the last playoff spot, have a new coach.
On Sunday, after the Wings lost their eighth straight game and barely holding onto the eighth and final spot, team president/general manager Greg Bibb fired coach Fred Williams and replaced him for the rest of the season with assistant Taj McWilliams-Franklin.
There was an altercation between Williams and Bibb after the game and a change was made.
"Following today's game, I made the decision to change direction in regards to our head coaching position," Bibb said in a release. "I felt this move was necessary. The season has not met our expectations. I have asked Taj to serve as our interim head coach and I have the upmost confidence that she and our staff will do everything possible to put us in the best position to win.
"I wish Fred the best moving forward. Our focus remains on qualifying for the playoffs and ultimately competing for a WNBA championship."
Williams told ESPN: "I just really put my heart and soul into this organization. We've struggled lately but played hard and are still in the playoff picture.
"But there was a little altercation after the game. It's just one of those things that happened. I can only wish the Dallas Wings the best going forward. I wish I could have taken them to the end and seen where the journey ends up."
The Wings (14-17) remained a game ahead of the Las Vegas Aces, who were saddled with a forfeit after not playing a game in Washington following travel difficulties. The teams play Friday night in Arlington, Texas, and the Wings end their season on Sunday at Seattle.
Dallas has been without WNBA scoring leader Liz Cambage, who injured her neck on a backward fall that resulted from getting tied up with the Sun's Janquel Jones last week.
While the Wings are just trying to hang on, the Sun (18-13) have won six of their last seven games and still have designs on moving into seeded spots in the final standings.
Connecticut opened a season-ending four-game homestand with an 82-75 victory over Chicago on Sunday that eliminated the Sky from the playoff picture.
The Sun are tied with the Los Angeles Sparks for fourth place, a spot that earns a first-round bye and a second-round playoff game.
The top two seeds in the standings get byes right through to the semifinals. Numbers 3 and 4 automatically advance to the second round, where they will meet the winners of the 5/8 and 6/7 games.
Jasmine Thomas overcame shooting problems down the stretch and Jones and Chiney Ogwumike combined for 29 of their team's 50 rebounds in Sunday's Sun victory. A late 14-0 run put the game away.
"She has the competitiveness and the fire that we need," Sun coach Curt Miller said of Thomas. "Jas really competed there at the end, stayed aggressive, and you could see the determination. When she gets that determination, not all her shots go in, but good things happen."
Courtney Williams scored 22 points and Jones had 17 points to go with her 15 rebounds for the Sun.
The Sun are 2-0 with two road wins over the Wings this season.