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WNBA Heads Into All-Star Break After Strong Start To Season

NEW YORK (AP) - The WNBA heads into the All-Star break this week after a strong first few months of play highlighted by tight standings and record-breaking performances.

"This might be the most competitive season I've seen in all my years coaching," Seattle coach Dan Hughes said. "No one is sitting out this year and there are no easy games in this league."

The Storm currently have the best record in the league at 18-7 and there's only four losses separating second place Atlanta from ninth-place Las Vegas making this season's playoff race one of the tightest ever.

The All-Star game is Saturday in Minneapolis and there's no debating it's been exciting an exciting regular season, but the statistics show some of it is optics.

It may seem more games are being decided in the last few seconds based on thrilling buzzer-beaters that Atlanta and New York had to beat Connecticut over the past few weeks, but the percentage of games decided by five-point or less is about the same as last year at about 25 percent. That's down from the 30 percent in 2014, according to information provided by the league from the Elias Sports Bureau.

Viewers are tuning in to the competitive play with ratings on ESPN2 up 38 percent from last season. It's the most-watched WNBA regular season since 2012.

Fans have been treated to some memorable individual efforts.

Liz Cambage broke the WNBA individual game scoring record with a 53-point effort against New York. Shekinna Stricklen tied the league's mark, hitting eight 3-pointers in a game . And those record-setting performances happened in the last week.

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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