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Preview: Aces host Liberty, Mercury host Lynx, Storm host Fever in Friday’s late-night matchups

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Two home teams have a clear edge over their opponents. The third boasts a 150-foot-tall player. Who’s to say how that might go?

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New York-New York Hotel & Casino Celebrates Inaugural Las Vegas Aces Season With Jersey On Lady Liberty Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for MGM Resorts International

All twelve WNBA teams are in action today, with the last three games available on ESPN television or streaming networks. Here’s how to watch.

Las Vegas Aces (4-9) vs. New York Liberty (4-6)

When: Friday, June 22 at 10 p.m. ET

Where: Mandalay Bay Events Center | TICKETS

How to watch: ESPN2

Injuries: For the Aces, Moriah Jefferson (knee) is doubtful, while Isabelle Harrison (suspension) is out.

Storylines to follow

Last meeting: Aces 78, Liberty 63 (June 13)

Both of these teams come in with just 4 wins, although the Aces’ road to that number has felt much more fraught than the Liberty’s. Struggles at home for Las Vegas are almost to be expected, having never played home games until this season, but three of their four wins have come on the road. However, the Aces do seem to have New York’s number, as the Aces’ 15-point victory (away, naturally) last week displayed.

But like the Aces, who beat the mighty Seattle Storm in their previous game, the Liberty are coming off a big win against the Atlanta Dream that saw the league’s No. 2 scorer Tina Charles finish with 29 points. Charles also found success against the Aces in the teams’ last meeting, leading all scorers with 19 points. With 12 points tonight, she’ll join the WNBA’s 5,000-point club.

Finally, while Moriah Jefferson (who hasn’t seen action since last August due to injury) is unlikely to play tonight in spite of practicing Thursday, the Aces’ controversial new acquisition could step in and help them out quite a bit:


Phoenix Mercury (10-3) vs. Minnesota Lynx (5-6)

When: Friday, June 22 at 10 p.m. ET

Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena | TICKETS

How to watch: ESPN3 (worldwide streaming), Fox Sports Arizona Plus (Arizona-area TV), Fox Sports North Plus (Minnesota-area TV)

Injuries: For the Lynx, Danielle Robinson (undisclosed) is probable and Temi Fagbenle (quad) is questionable.

Storylines to follow

Last meeting: Mercury 95, Lynx 85 (June 1)

The defending-champion Lynx are finally starting to look the part, coming into Friday’s game on their second two-game winning streak of the season. Unfortunately, the team they’re facing is looking for its ninth straight victory, and the Mercury get to play for this next milestone at home.

Despite their remarkably different records, the last meeting between these teams was closer than the score might suggest. The Lynx were down by only 2 at halftime and 5 heading into the fourth quarter, but cold shooting was their eventual downfall, and they scored just 15 points in the final quarter. Maya Moore and Diana Taurasi led their respective teams in scoring in that game, and it’s all but expected that the same could happen tonight.

Sylvia Fowles and Brittney Griner matched up well in that meeting (16 points/11 rebounds and 21 points/9 rebounds, respectively), though both ran into some foul trouble as they each led their team in minutes, playing almost the entire game. With their near-constant presence on the court, the battle of the centers will be something to watch.


Seattle Storm (8-4) vs. Indiana Fever (1-11)

When: Friday, June 22 at 10 p.m. ET

Where: KeyArena | TICKETS

How to watch: ESPN3 (worldwide streaming), JOEtv (Seattle-area TV)

Injuries: For the Storm, Sue Bird (rest) should be back in the lineup, while Alysha Clark (ankle) is doubtful and Jordin Canada (ankle) is probable. For the Fever, Stephanie Mavunga (ankle) is questionable and Shenise Johnson (knee) is out.

Storylines to follow

Last meeting: This is the Storm and Fever’s first meeting of the season.

The Storm are still in the championship conversation, especially as powers like the Sun are starting to struggle, but a bad home loss to the Aces in their most recent game saw Seattle shoot just 25 percent in a fourth quarter won 25-13 by Las Vegas that ended up being the final points difference.

However, their opponent is a Fever team that still has won just one game. And while that game was a 32-point home victory over the Dream, they followed that up by losing to the Sparks by 19 in Los Angeles. Rookie of the Year contender Kelsey Mitchell was held to just 7 points in that game and Victoria Vivians had 3, though it was a low-scoring night overall for Indiana. The Fever will need to return to their former consistency that has come in the form of reliance on their top scorers in order to compete in this game.

Sue Bird’s return to the lineup for the Storm should inject some much-needed cohesiveness into her team, though Jordin Canada proved herself more than capable in her stead coming off the bench to run the point. In spite of last game’s upset loss, recent high-scoring efforts from Natasha Howard and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis suggest that the Storm should pull off this victory, should they return to their high-scoring ways.