The new WNBA All-Star Game’s new format pitted former league MVPs Candace Parker and Elena Delle Donne against each other with Team Parker earning a 119-112 victory.
The new format is similar to that of the 2018 NBA All-Star Game where the two players with the highest votes become team captains and they choose players from a pool of 20.
Washington Mystics forward Delle Donne and reigning WNBA champion Maya Moore earned the highest votes. Moore however relinquished her captain duties and Sparks vet Parker took the helm.
Team Parker stole the show from the strong performance of young stand outs Breanna Stewart and rookie A’ja Wilson. Minnesota Lynx guard Moore earned MVP honors for earning 18 points, six offensive rebounds, and six assists. Guard Allie Quigley matched Moore’s 18 points while winning the three-point contest.
Although six players scored in the double digits, Team Delle Donne was out rebounded 43-60. Team Parker 23 offensive boards to Team Delle Donne’s nine.
Washington Mystics guard Kristi Toliver landed seven three-pointers to ultimately earn 23 points. In her 11th All Star game, guard Sue Bird found open looks for Team Delle Donne with eight assists.
Delle Donne united the best shooters in the league, choosing Steward, Diana Taurasi, and Kayla McBride. Parker chose a young frontcourt in Chiney Ogwumike and Liz Cambage. The Lnyx had the most representation with four players, two on each team.
Stewart would help Team Delle Donne grab an early lead. As the first quarter went on, Ogwumike and Chicago Sky guard Quigley would defend Team Parker.
Wilson came into the game at the second quarter and found her shot right away. She would score 12 points by the half. Team Parker rallied back, chipping a 12-point deficit down to one. At halftime, Team Delle Donne still had control with a 54-50 lead.
Team Parker returned to the court with guns blazing, Skylar Diggins-Smith and All Star newcomer Jewell Loyd launched shots from behind the arc. The tempo picked and defensive stops were made on both sides. Toliver was soon subbed back in to dish out three-balls to tie the game. Team Parker maintained their rhythm to end the third quarter ahead by six points.
Ogwumike would edge Team Parker past the 100-point mark with 6:11 left in the game, Team Delle Donne was 14 points behind. Toliver and Delle Donne returned to the hardwood to unleash a nine-point run; it was then a two-point game with three minutes left.
Sparks guard Chelsea Gray and Moore rebutted Toliver’s shots with mid-ranged buckets and Cambage finished the game for Team Parker with a dunk.
The 2018 WNBA All-Star Game showcased the players who play a major role in the ongoing success of the league. Both rosters featured stat leaders, record holders and WNBA champions. Now these accomplished basketball stars must return to their respective teams and vie for one of six playoff spots with two weeks of the regular season left.