Marina Mabrey, Dallas Wings secure berth in WNBA playoffs, where 'anything can happen'

Mabrey's career-high 31 leads Wings to a playoff berth (2:25)

Marina Mabrey drops a career-high 31 to help the Wings clinch a playoff berth. (2:25)

The Dallas Wings claimed the sixth WNBA playoff berth with an 86-77 victory over New York on Monday, leaving two spots left in the league's postseason, which begins next week.

Guard Marina Mabrey had a career-high 31 points to lead the Wings, who have won five in a row and are now 17-16 with three games left in the regular season. Dallas joins Chicago, Las Vegas, Connecticut, Seattle and Washington in the playoffs. There are still five teams in contention for the remaining playoff berths, as Indiana is the only team already eliminated.

"In that locker room, we knew that we had the opportunity to make the playoffs for the second year in a row, but we want to go deeper," Wings coach Vickie Johnson said. "We want to finish sixth and once the playoff starts, it's a new season. Anything can happen."

Indeed, Chicago, which was 16-16 in the regular season last year, won the WNBA championship.

The Wings franchise has finished at .500 or better just once since moving from Detroit after the 2009 season; that was in 2015 in Tulsa. The team, previously named the Shock while in Detroit and Tulsa, relocated to Dallas in 2016, and this is their longest winning streak since being in Texas. It will be the Wings' fourth playoff appearance, but they haven't won a postseason game.

The WNBA is returning to having an all-series format in the playoffs this year after having single-elimination games in the first and second rounds from 2016-2021.

Dallas will finish the regular season with another matchup at home with New York, and then travel to Phoenix and Los Angeles. Dallas star guard Arike Ogunbowale has played in just one of the Wings' last four games due to ankle and hip injuries and didn't play Monday. But her former Notre Dame teammate and good friend Mabrey -- they won the 2018 NCAA title together -- has excelled, as have center Teaira McCowan, guard Allisha Gray and the rest of the Wings.

"To see Arike, a player like that go down again, everyone needs to step up," Mabrey said. "Coming out there, playing with a chip, a will to win, and having that be contagious to the rest of the team. Everyone played their roles."