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WNBA previews: Streaking Connecticut Sun, Phoenix Mercury to play

The league-leading Connecticut Sun (20-6) has the opportunity to claim the longest winning streak of the 2021 WNBA season when they head to the nation’s capital on Tuesday night for the Washington Mystics (10-15) at 7 p.m. ET (NBA TV).

Winners of eight consecutive games, a ninth consecutive victory by the Sun, would surpass the Minnesota Lynx’s eight-game series, which was accidentally hit by the sun.

The Sun’s schedule definitely helped them achieve this series, as they enjoyed a five-game home game at the Mohegan Sun Arena, where the sun is almost unbeatable, in part because opponents have to travel to the outpost of Uncasville, Conn. .

However, the sun is by no means vulnerable from home. They set a record of 12-5 on the road with a net score of 6.8. More so, two of those losses were without Jonquel Jones, because Connecticut dropped both games of a duel against Chicago in Chicago when Jones participated in EuroBasket.

Since the Mystics are missing Tina Charles and possibly Elena Delle Donne, it’s hard to bet the Sun will score a ninth consecutive victory.

The Phoenix Mercury (15-10) is also dashed.

Winners of six consecutive games, they followed up an unbeaten three-game home run with an unbeaten three-game winning streak. Returning to the Valley, they welcome the Chicago Sky (14-12), fresh from their two-game whip of the Storm in Seattle, for a game Tuesday night at 10pm ET (NBA TV).

The challenge of winning a seventh game in a row can be complicated by the absence of Brittney Griner. Griner missed Phoenix’s second game in New York after adjusting her ankle in the languorous seconds of the first quarter of Mercury’s first win over Liberty.

Luckily for Phoenix, Skylar Diggins-Smith shines. After receiving only limited minutes for Team USA during the Tokyo Olympics, Diggins-Smith wants to prove that she is one of the best women’s jumpers in the world and won the Western Conference Player of the Week for her efforts. During the Mercury’s trials, she averaged 26.3 points, 6.3 assists, 2.3 steals and one block per game. She averages three three-pointers per game and shoots 60 percent from behind the arc. She also scored eight free kicks per game.

It will be interesting to see how Sky head coach James Wade unfolds his long athletic perimeter defenders in Kahleah Copper and Diamond DeShields against Diggins-Smith.

Two more games take place in Tuesday night’s WNBA schedule.

After their winning streak of four games, the Los Angeles Sparks (10-16) dropped three games in a row on their east coast road trip. Their trip lasts at 7pm at ET (Twitter) against the fever (5-19) in Indiana.

The New York Liberty (11-16) will also want to stop a slide when they face the Minnesota Lynx (15-9) at 20:00 ET (Amazon Prime). After losing four games in a row, the Liberty dropped to eighth place in the standings and barely hung on to the last playoff spot. It will be difficult to avoid a fifth consecutive loss, as the Lynx have not lost at the Goal Center since June 15th.

Game Info

Indiana Fever (5-19) vs. Los Angeles Sparks (10-16)

When: Tuesday 31 August at 19:00 ET

Where: Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis, IN

How to watch: Twitter of Bally Sports Indiana

Key to matching: Many WNBA viewers were waiting for the full-blown outbreak of Kelsey Mitchell, when the NCAA’s second leading scorer of all time would flash past and move on to a certified offensive superstar. Instead, the fourth-year wing flattened, if not returned slightly. Her efficiency of points is lower, mainly due to her struggle behind the arc. She also took on a reduced role in playing ability, evident from her lower help percentage and average. In August, Mitchell was more aggressive looking for her shot and increased her field goal efforts to 18.3 per game after averaging 14.4 attempts in the first half of the season. Even if her efficiency is still deteriorating, the increased aggression is encouraging, especially since it is more likely that Mitchell could have one of her explosive points matches that could critically help the fever find another victory.

Fever Injury Report: Danielle Robinson (doubtful; single), Kysre Gondrezick (indefinite; personal), Bernadett Határ (indefinitely out; single), Chelsey Perry (out of season; knee)

Sparks Injury Report: Chiney Ogwumike (doubtful; knee), Kristi Toliver (out; hand), Jasmine Walker (out for season; knee)

Highlight: Kelsey Mitchell with the determined ride to the hoop

Washington Mystics (10-15) vs. Connecticut Sun (20-6)

When: Tuesday 31 August at 19:00 ET

Where: Entertainment and sports arena in Washington, DC

How to watch: NBA TV, NBC Sports Washington and NESN +

Key to matching: While the sun is hyping Briann January As a defensive player candidate of the year, it is also worth appreciating the importance of January’s offense for the success of the Sun. For the season, she averages 6.9 points per game on six field goal attempts, with 1.3 free throws and 2.3 try attempts. During Connecticut’s current winning streak, she averaged 9.8 points per game, slightly increasing her efforts from the line and from the deep. She scored a double in five of those eight games, highlighted by her 19-point list this season, with 70 percent shooting, against the Las Vegas Aces. An aggressive and efficient January makes the already dangerous sun an even more challenging challenge for opponents.

Sun Injury Report: Alyssa Thomas (out of season; Achilles)

Mystics Injury Report: Elena Delle Donne (doubtful; back), Tina Charles (out; glute strain)

Highlights: Briann January scorched the bait with her hot shot

Minnesota Lynx (15-9) vs. New York Liberty (11-16)

When: Tuesday 31 August at 20:00 ET

Where: Target Center in Minneapolis, MN

How to watch: Amazon Prime of Bally Sports North +

Key to matching: Is this DiDi Richards really? Since the Olympics, Baylor’s newcomer has made a demonstrable leap. It was expected to be primarily a defensive disruptor, and she made some unexpected offensive contributions. She was not a three-point shooter in college, but took 2.2 tries per game in August, converting them by 61.5 percent. While the percentage is not sustainable, the prospect of Richards acting as a reliable, above-average 3-point shooter adds a significant value to New York’s three-point happy offense, especially since she’s also an impact player. on the defensive end.

Lynx Injury Report: Rennia Davis (out of season; foot), Sylvia Fowles (doubtful; shoulder), Layshia Clarendon (out; leg)

Liberty Injury Report: Sami Whitcomb (doubtful; single), Jocelyn Willoughby (out of season; Achilles), Jazmine Jones (out; foot)

Highlights: DiDi Richards drains the deep ball!

Phoenix Mercury (15-10) vs. Chicago Sky (14-12)

When: Tuesday 31 August at 19:00 ET

Where: Footprint Center in Phoenix, AZ

How to watch: NBA TV, Bally Sports AZ +, The U of NBA TV Canada

Key to matching: For most teams, a four-game West Coast road trip would be very dangerous. Not so for the air! For the season, Chicago is 10-4 on the road, compared to 4-8 at home. As such, it might not have been so surprising that the Sky swept their set with two games with the Storm in Seattle. While it was their offense that the big blowout victory over the Storm Sunday, it was their defense that distinguished their road performances from their home performances. Chicago has a defense rating of 101.3 at home and a defense rating of 92.4 on the road. They are therefore a more than legal threat to the Mercury’s winning streak in Phoenix. The Sky should also have extra motivation, as the Mercury won the first two games between these groups by a combined margin of four points.

Mercury Injury Report: Brittney Griner (doubtful; single), Bria Hartley (indefinitely out; knee)

Air Injury Report: Astou Ndour-Fall (off; foot)

Highlights: Enjoy the Best of Chicago’s Offensive Blast in Seattle

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