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Preview: Liberty brace for Storm, Wings aim to take to the Sky in Tuesday’s early games

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Two pairs of teams meet for the first time this season to kick off Tuesday’s WNBA action.

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allie quigley road david dow NBA
Allie Quigley scored 28 points in the Chicago Sky’s loss on Sunday. Quigley is the team’s leading scorer, putting up 17 points per game.

Two intriguing first-of-the-season matchups kick off WNBA action on Tuesday. Here’s what to look for and how to watch.

New York Liberty (5-11) vs. Seattle Storm (12-5)

When: Tuesday, July 3 at 7 p.m. ET

Where: Westchester County Center | TICKETS

How to watch: WNBA League Pass (worldwide streaming), MSG+ (New York-area TV)

Injuries: For the Liberty, Marissa Coleman (ankle) is out.

Storylines to follow

Last meeting: This is these teams’ first meeting of the season.

The Storm are rolling, and the Liberty are stalling. That’s just how it is.

While both teams are coming off wins, Seattle’s 84-70 victory over the Sun marks their sixth victory in eight games, while the Liberty’s 97-94 overtime thriller over the Sky is their first after a five-game losing slide that sees them in 11th place. The Storm, meanwhile, are just a half-game back of the first-place Mercury.

It’s not clear whether what worked for the Liberty could work with a much more mature Storm team. In their Sunday victory against Chicago, New York got by on the reliably hot-shooting Tina Charles and getting 37 tries from the charity stripe, drawing 32 personal fouls. But Seattle committed just 12 fouls en route to a 14-point victory against Connecticut in a game that saw six players score in double figures.

Sure, the Storm have stars, too – plenty of them. But if the Liberty want to stop one of the league’s best teams, they’re going to have to be able to rely on all of their players, both starters and bench players, to score points and defend (especially from the three, one of Seattle’s biggest strengths) without getting into foul trouble. Because even though the Liberty pulled off a big home win on Sunday, they’re going to want to avoid relying on another overtime to get it done, especially against a deep Storm bench.


Dallas Wings (7-8) vs. Chicago Sky (6-10)

When: Tuesday, July 3 at 8 p.m. ET

Where: College Park Center | TICKETS

How to watch: WNBA League Pass (worldwide streaming), FOX Sports Southwest Dallas Plus (Dallas-area TV)

Injuries: For the Wings, Liz Cambage (eye) is probable.

Storylines to follow

Last meeting: This is these teams’ first meeting of the season.

Both the Wings and the Sky come into this game after suffering tough, close losses – the Wings to the Lynx by 4, and the Sky to the Liberty by 3 in overtime. But it’s hard to say who could come out of this game on top.

The Sky, of course, are finally at full strength after welcoming Allie Quigley and Stefanie Dolson back from injuries. Everyone on the roster is seeing some playing time, and many are making huge contributions – Quigley and Courtney Vandersloot, to name the two most consistent. But Chicago also let a three-game winning streak slip away, and that streak followed up another: a six-game losing streak. This contest will be one of the Sky’s biggest challenges of the season, as it will determine whether they can rebound after a loss or if they will once more doom themselves to consecutive losses.

Meanwhile, the Wings have been nothing if not inconsistent in their past few games. They haven’t had consecutive wins since the beginning of June, but they’ve also only had consecutive losses once in the past month, trading off between single wins and losses otherwise. They played a surging Lynx team tough on Sunday, almost matching them stat for stat, but their star who could have given Maya Moore and her 26 points a run for her money – Liz Cambage – left the game with an eye injury at halftime and isn’t sure to return tonight.

That isn’t to say Diggins-Smith couldn’t have another massive game as she did against the Aces in the Wings’ June 27 win, but the team needs Cambage, or they need to figure out how to step up in her absence. Otherwise, the Sky could be the limit.