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Preview: Mercury host Aces, Storm host Dream in two late Sunday games

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Two six-win teams want to keep winning. A team on the rise dreams of bigger things. The league’s newest team tries to turn the tables on a slow start. All this and more Sunday evening in the WNBA.

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Seattle Storm v Las Vegas Aces Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Will two of the league’s top teams continue their winning ways, or can their opponents pull off some major upsets? Here’s what to look for in Sunday’s final two games and how to watch.

Phoenix Mercury (6-3) vs. Las Vegas Aces (1-6)

When: Sunday, June 10 at 6 p.m. EST

Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena | TICKETS

How to watch: WNBA League Pass (worldwide streaming) | FOX Sports Arizona Plus (Arizona-area TV)

Injuries: For the Aces, Moriah Jefferson (knee) and Nia Coffey (ankle) are out indefinitely. The Mercury are good to go.

Storylines to follow

Keep up the offensive energy: For a team that endured an early three-game losing streak, Phoenix hasn’t looked back lately—the Mercury bring a four-game winning streak into this game. All five starters scored in double figures in Friday’s 96-79 rout of the Chicago Sky, and the team has a big opportunity to reprise that effort against an Aces team that gives up 91 points per game. Phoenix has two of the top-ten leading scorers in the league in Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi—whose 4.7 assists per game is also good for sixth in the league—and their chemistry doesn’t suggest a slowdown anytime soon.

Rookie reliance: A’ja Wilson is having a monster first season for the Aces, averaging 20.9 points per game and all but carrying the stumbling Aces through their inaugural season. But in the team’s last game, an 87-83 loss to the Dream, fellow rookie JiSu Park and second-year player Kelsey Plum got their second and first starts, respectively, for Las Vegas. Unfortunately, the NCAA’s career scoring record holder in Plum ended with no points in 15 minutes, while Park’s 4 points and 7 rebounds in 17 minutes weren’t enough to make an offensive impact. With further lineup shuffling in the Aces’ future, will they find the right combination—and will their non-Wilson young players be the answer?


Seattle Storm (6-2) vs. Atlanta Dream (4-3)

When: Sunday, June 10 at 7 p.m. EST

Where: KeyArena | TICKETS

How to watch: WNBA League Pass (worldwide streaming) | JOEtv (Seattle-area TV)

Injuries: Crystal Langhorne (ribs) is questionable for the Storm. The Dream are good to go.

Storylines to follow

Super-Storm warning: Whether on offense or defense, Seattle’s recent efficiency leaves nothing to be desired. The Storm puts up an average of 91.1 points per game, but perhaps more impressive was how they limited the Los Angeles Sparks to just 63 points in their Thursday night victory at the Staples Center. Led by Breanna Stewart’s 21.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, Sue Bird’s league-leading 6.6 assists per game, and Natasha Howard’s third-in-the-league 1.9 blocks per game, this team has it working on both ends of the floor. And although Seattle’s close loss to the Dallas Wings is a very recent memory, they were still able to put up 90 points in that game. Look for the Storm to try to reach 90 points once more—or maybe even pass the century mark for the third time this season.

Dreaming big: Atlanta finally has its first win streak (two games) after alternating wins and losses to start the season. It also has something no other team does: a win against the Connecticut Sun, and in a defensively stellar fashion, holding the then-undefeated Sun to just 77 points. While holding a similarly dominant Storm team to fewer than 80 points will be a challenge, the Dream have proven that they know how to get in the mindset for a big upset. With the defending-champion Lynx and the first-place Sun already in their rearview mirror, will the Storm be the next powerhouse to fall at the hands of an Atlanta squad that’s beginning to achieve some consistency?