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WNBA previews: Los Angeles Sparks face test, Dallas Wings try to climb

The Los Angeles Sparks face a tough game against the Connecticut Sun on Saturday night. The Sparks are currently in ninth place, but have two more games to play as eighth in New York Liberty. The Sparks got their superstar Nneka Ogwumike back, but lost two in a row. The sun is resting on top of the WNBA. They have a stunning 19-6 record led by their three All-Stars: Jonquel Jones, DeWanna Bonner and Brionna Jones.

These Sparks and Sun played each other in a close game last Thursday. Thanks to the dominating performances of Brionna Jones and Jonquel Jones, The Sun were able to come out victorious 76-72. The Sparks hung on thanks to a phenomenal performance from Nia Coffey, who had 18 points off the bench, but that was not enough as the Sun did an incredible job keeping the Sparks some possessions away for the entire fourth quarter. The Sun dominated the boards, which they had to do as they shot 25 percent from three and 43 percent from the field.

Simultaneously with the Sparks / Sun game, the Dallas Wings and Washington Mystics play in a game with great playoff consequences. The Wings are 11-14 and currently sit seventh on the standings, while the Mystics are 9-15 and currently sit tenth. The first eight teams reach the playoffs, so a win for Wings would put them 2.5 games ahead of the Mystics, while a win for Mystics would narrow the gap between the teams to half a game.

Both teams need to feel good about where they are. The Wings are 2-2 in their last four games and they control their playoff destination. The Mystics are only half a game back from eighth and final playoff spot.

Both teams faced each other on Thursday, so we have recent data on how they are doing against each other. The game was a nail-biter as the Wings were able to pull away and win 82-77. You can read our full summary of the game here. Arike Ogunbowale played great and scored 26 points.

The Las Vegas Aces and Indiana Fever play in the early game on Saturday and experience opposing seasons. The Aces are having another dominant year and are currently 18-7 and finish second overall in the WNBA. Meanwhile, the fever is 5-18 and it is the weakest team record in the WNBA with little or no hope of playing playoff.

This match is tough for the fever. During their last game, the Aces dominated 113-77 with the Aces’ three-headed sample of Dearica Hamby, Liz Cambage and A’ja Wilson combining 60 points. However, Hamby will come out with a single sprain on Saturday. The fever had a balanced attack with four players in double figures, but they shot 38% off the field and struck back 36-32.

A choir victory is a big task, but anything can happen. A road to victory is likely to require a good attacking game from Kelsey Mitchell. Teaira McCowan will have to crash the boards and win the setback. Bank production will have to try to keep up with the Aces’ attacking firepower. Maybe a banker like Victoria Vivians can play a good game. Vivians had 12 points in 19 minutes, the last time the fever faced the aces.

Game Info

Connecticut Sun (19-6) vs Los Angeles Sparks (10-15)

When: Saturday 28 August at 19:00 ET

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT

How to watch: NBC Sports, Spectrum Sportsnet, NBA TV

Key to matching: The Sparks must win the rebound battle and get rid of all cylinders to start the game. They can’t start with 10 points in the first quarter like Thursday night. The sun should shoot from three and the field better than below average. They have all the advantages in this game. They have the better record, more star power, it’s a home game, and they have won seven games in a row. Do not fix what is not broken, just play Sun basketball and this game can be over quickly.

Sparks Injury Report: Chiney Ogumike (out; right knee), Kristi Tolliver (doubtful; hand), Jasmine Walker (out of season; right knee)

Sun injury report: Alyssa Thomas (out of season; Achilles)

Washington Mystics (9-15) vs Dallas Wings (11-14)

When: Saturday, 28 August, 19:00 ET

Where: Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington DC

How to watch: Facebook, NBC Sports Washington, BSSW +

Key to matching: The The Dallas Wings want to keep using Arike Ogunbowale, who only had an excellent performance against the Mystics a few days ago. The Mystics must take care of the home field and achieve this much-needed victory against the Wings.

Meat Injury Report: Satou Sabally (off; Achilles), Allisha Gray (off; concussion protocol)

Mystics Injury Report: Tina Charles (out; left gluteal stem), Elena Delle Donne (doubtful; back)

Indiana Fever (5-18) vs Las Vegas Aces (18-7)

When: Saturday, 28 August at 13:00 ET

Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN

How to watch: Bally Sports Indiana, NBA TV, MyLVTV, STIRR

Key to matching: The Fever must win the battle on the boards and remain competitive during the first half. The Aces are an absolutely stacked team, and if the fever doesn’t start well, the game can get ugly early on.

Asbestos report: Angel McCoughtry (out for season; knee), Dearica Hamby (out; ankle)

Fever Injury Report: Chelsey Perry (out; right knee), Bernadett Határ (out; right ankle), Kysre Gondrezick (out; personal leave)

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