The 2018 WNBA season is in full effect and the ladies are getting into the groove of play again. For the week of May 18-27, two of the WNBA’s brightest stars shined bright and earned the titles of players of the week.
— WNBA (@WNBA) May 29, 2018
Alyssa Thomas of the Connecticut Sun and Chelsea Gray of the Los Angeles Sparks today were named the WNBA’s Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played May 18-27.
Thomas, a 2017 All-Star and WNBA All-Defensive Second Team selection, was named Player of the Week for the third time in her career. Behind the 6-2 forward, the Sun went 3-0 during the opening week to equal its best start since 2012. Thomas led East players in rebounding (10.0 rpg) and minutes (31.9 mpg), ranked third in field goal percentage (62.5, 20-of-32) and was sixth in scoring (16.3 ppg) and assists (4.3 apg).
In Connecticut’s season-opening 101-65 win over the Las Vegas Aces on May 20, Thomas set a career high with 17 rebounds while contributing 13 points and six assists. Thomas followed that performance with 15 points, nine rebounds and five assists in a 102-94 victory over the Sparks on May 24. In the fourth quarter, Thomas tallied nine points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field and grabbed five rebounds as the Sun rallied from a nine-point deficit. The fifth-year pro closed her week with a game-high 21 points as Connecticut defeated the Indiana Fever 86-77 on May 26.
— WNBA (@WNBA) May 29, 2018
Gray was named Player of the Week for the first time in her career. The 5-11 guard and 2017 All-WNBA Second Team selection led West players in assists (7.3 apg) and steals (2.0 spg) and ranked seventh in scoring (18.5 ppg).
Gray opened the season on May 20 with 18 points, eight assists and a career-high six steals at Minnesota, where her driving basket at the buzzer gave Los Angeles a 77-76 win over the defending champion Lynx. The play evoked memories of her game-winning, buzzer-beating jumper for the Sparks in Game 1 of the 2017 WNBA Finals against Minnesota.
On May 22, Gray’s all-around effort in an 87-70 win at Indiana included 12 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Two days later, she scored 21 points in a 102-94 loss to the Sun. The four-year veteran capped her week with game highs of 23 points and eight assists as Los Angeles beat the visiting Phoenix Mercury 80-72 on May 27.
Other candidates for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were the Atlanta Dream’s Tiffany Hayes, the Chicago Sky’s Allie Quigley, the Dallas Wings’ Liz Cambage, Las Vegas’ A’Ja Wilson, Los Angeles’ Nneka Ogwumike, Minnesota’s Sylvia Fowles, the New York Liberty’s Tina Charles, Seattle’s Jewell Loyd and Breanna Stewart, and the Washington Mystics’ Elena Delle Donne.
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