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Preview: Dream host Mercury, Liberty host Wings in Sunday afternoon WNBA action

Do records tell the whole story? Will the underdogs stop some winning streaks?

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2014 WNBA Finals - Game Three
DeWanna Bonner scored 20 points in the Mercury’s last meeting with the Dream.

In two afternoon games, four teams face off for the first time in over a month. While there are clear favorites in each game, recent history raises some questions about how easy these wins could come. Here’s how to watch.

Atlanta Dream (8-9) vs. Phoenix Mercury (14-5)

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

Where: McCamish Pavilion | TICKETS

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

Injuries: For the Dream, Brittney Sykes (foot) is questionable. Camille Little (ankle) is questionable for the Mercury.

Storylines to follow

Last meeting: Mercury 78, Dream 71 (June 3)

The first-place Mercury are meeting with the sub-.500 Dream for the second time this season, but as Atlanta has shown, they tend to play up to the level of their biggest competition when the stakes are high. In the previous meeting, the Dream suffered from cold shooting, making just 34.2 percent of their shots. The Mercury, on the other hand, got 20-point performances from Diana Taurasi and DeWanna Bonner (with Brittney Griner adding 17).

With Sancho Lyttle recently out for the season for Phoenix, they’ll need to rely on these players once more – and maybe a little help from their bench, as well as the team’s newest addition to the starting five, Yvonne Turner. Meanwhile, the inconsistent Dream are just trying to pick up some more wins seemingly without regard for the caliber of the teams they face, with the only time they’ve won consecutive games all season coming in the beginning of June. They’ll have to interrupt the Mercury’s four-game win streak to get back on track, though, and even without Lyttle, that seems like a tall order.

New York Liberty (5-13) vs. Dallas Wings (9-8)

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

Where: Westchester County Center | TICKETS

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

Injuries: Marissa Coleman (ankle) is questionable for the Liberty.

Storylines to follow

Last meeting: Liberty 94, Wings 89 (May 29)

Another close game is in store as these teams face off for the second time this season, with their previous meeting in addition to a preseason tilt ending in single-digit differences. But it’s hard to not heavily favor the Wings at this point, as their current two-game winning streak has seen them beat their opponents by 23 and 27 points. The Liberty, on the other hand, are on a two-game losing streak in which they suffered two double-digit losses and failed to break 70 points in each.

New York’s Tina Charles scored 34 points in the teams’ last meeting, with Dallas’ Liz Cambage not far behind with 28 points. But in the battle of big scorers, the Wings seem to have an emerging weapon at their disposal in Azurá Stevens, who contributed a career-high 26 points off the bench in their most recent win (and had 10 in the Wings’ last meeting with the Liberty). Much has been said about Stevens’ readiness for the WNBA, but if she can put together a second dominant game, she could be a big factor in sending the Wings to their third straight victory.