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Tina Charles, Brittney Griner named WNBA Players of the Week for Week 12

Brittney Griner
Aug 8, 2021; Saitama, Japan; United States centre Brittney Griner (15) reacts to a call against Japan in the women's basketball gold medal match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Saitama Super Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

As we head into the final week of the 2021 WNBA regular season, Tina Charles of the Washington Mystics and Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury have been named WNBA Players of the Week.

This is the second time this season Charles has been named WNBA Player of the Week while Griner has now won the award five times including three times in the past four weeks.

In the Washington Mystics’ pursuit of a playoff berth, Tina Charles stepped up for her team averaging 20.3 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists in three games with her team winning two.

The week did not get off to a good start for Charles as she only scored four points shooting 1-for-6 from the field in a loss against the Seattle Storm. This marked the first time she has finished a game in single-digit scoring since September 2019.

Charles was able to bounce back putting up 26 points and 16 rebounds against the Atlanta Dream as well as 31 points, 10 rebounds and five assists against the Chicago Sky. She is the WNBA’s leading scorer by a wide margin averaging 24.3 points per game in 25 games this season.

Despite the Mystics being ravaged with injuries all season, they have continued to battle putting themselves in contention for the playoffs. With just two games remaining, they are currently one game ahead of the New York Liberty for the eighth and final playoff spot.

This Friday, the Mystics will play against the Liberty on the road in a game that could ultimately decide who makes the playoffs and who goes home.

Meanwhile, Brittney Griner’s push for the WNBA MVP award continues as she averaged 23.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in two games with the Mercury splitting those games.

Griner ranks second in the league in scoring (20.8), fourth in rebounds (9.5) and leads the WNBA in blocks (2.0). This season would make the eighth time she has led the WNBA in blocks tying for a league record with the late Margo Dydek.

On Saturday, the Mercury had their season-high eight-game win streak snapped by the Connecticut Sun in a game that saw Griner still play spectacular tallying 25 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals.

The Mercury are looking to secure a first-round bye currently sitting in fifth place 0.5 games behind the Seattle Storm for fourth place the final seed that gets the bye.

The Mercury and Storm will have a chance to clinch that fourth seed when they face each other this Friday in Seattle.