Tina Charles of the New York Liberty and Candace Parker of the Los Angeles Sparks were named the WNBA’s Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played August 1 through September 3 – the final month of the 2017 regular season.
Charles earned Player of the Month honors for the WNBA-leading 11th time in her eight-year career. Parker, who last won the award in August 2015, raised her career total to six in 10 seasons, the fourth-most ever.
Behind Charles, New York posted a 10-2 record over their final 12 games, including a 10-game winning streak to close the regular season. After earning a first-round bye as the third seed in the 2017 WNBA Playoffs presented by Verizon, Charles and the Liberty will host a second-round, single-elimination game against a yet-to-be-determined opponent on Sunday, September 10 at 5pm ET on ESPN2.
Charles ranked first among Eastern Conference players in scoring (18.1 ppg), third in rebounds (8.3 rpg) and sixth in 3-point field goal percentage (.385, 10-of-26) for the month. She scored in double figures in all 12 games, including five games with at least 20 points. Charles also grabbed seven or more rebounds 11 times.
Her month featured performances of 26 points, seven rebounds and four assists in an 81-76 home win over the Indiana Fever on August 8, as well as 24 points and seven rebounds in an 82-70 win at the Connecticut Sun on August 18. Charles capped her regular season with 18 points and 18 rebounds in an 82-81 road victory over the Dallas Wings on September 3.
Additional highlights of Charles’ play included:
August 20 vs Minnesota: Scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds in a 70-61 win over the Lynx.
August 27 vs Chicago: Contributed 22 points and eight rebounds in a 92-62 victory against the Sky.
Led by Parker, Los Angeles went 9-2 over their final 11 games to finish with the WNBA’s second-best record at 26-8. As the No 2 playoff seed, the Sparks earned a double bye into the best-of-five semifinals.
Parker ranked sixth among West players in scoring (18.5 ppg) and fourth in rebounding (8.1 rpg) during the month. She also averaged 1.55 steals and 1.1 blocked shots.
The two-time WNBA MVP opened August with back-to-back games of at least 20 points. She recorded 24 points, six assists and four rebounds in an 87-74 defeat of the visiting Liberty on August 4. Two days later, she registered 21 points, nine rebounds and four steals in an 85-79 loss at Dallas.
Parker also powered the Sparks past the top-seeded Minnesota Lynx twice. The 2016 WNBA Finals MVP had 19 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two blocks in a 70-64 win at Minnesota on August 11. She then scored a game-high 24 points and added 10 rebounds, three assists and two blocks in a 78-67 home win on August 27.
Additional highlights of Parker’s play included:
August 18 at Chicago: Scored 29 points and added 12 rebounds and six assists in a 115-106 double-overtime win over the Sky.
September 3 vs Connecticut: Recorded 12 points, 14 rebounds and four assists in an 81-70 victory over the Sun.
Other candidates for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were the Atlanta Dream’s Brittney Sykes, Chicago’s Stefanie Dolson and Courtney Vandersloot, Connecticut’s Jonquel Jones and Alyssa Thomas, Dallas’ Skylar Diggins-Smith and Glory Johnson, Los Angeles’ Nneka Ogwumike, Minnesota’s Sylvia Fowles, the Phoenix Mercury’s Brittney Griner, the Seattle Storm’s Jewell Loyd and Breanna Stewart, and the Washington Mystics’ Emma Meesseman.
For more information on the WNBA Players of the Week, visit www.wnba.com/awards.
The 2017 WNBA regular season concluded on September 3 and the playoffs began on September 6. For more information on the WNBA and game tickets, fans may visit www.wnba.com.
By WNBA News
First appeared on WNBA.com