clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Preview: WNBA Friday the 13th showdown features 8 teams in 4 games

Dream host Fever, Sun host Mercury, Mystics host Sky and Lynx host Aces, with three of those contests tipping off at 7 p.m. ET. Which teams will come out on top, and which will succumb to the day’s round of bad luck?

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

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

There are four games on tonight, and even the ones without direct playoff implications have something worth watching. Here’s how to follow along.

Atlanta Dream (10-9) vs. Indiana Fever (2-18)

When: Friday, July 13 at 7 p.m. ET

Where: McCamish Pavilion | TICKETS

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

Injuries: None to report.

Storylines to follow

Last meeting: Dream 87, Fever 83 (July 1)

This has proven to be one of the more intriguing matchups this season, despite the fact that neither team is truly a power team. Both of the Dream’s victories over the Fever have been close, within five points, but the Fever shocked the league when their first win of the season came in a 32-point rout of the Dream in June.

It’s anyone’s guess which version of these teams will show up Friday, but the natural favorite is Atlanta, whose last two wins come over Washington and Phoenix. Tiffany Hayes and Angel McCoughtry have been putting up solid efforts for the Dream of late, with the entire starting lineup balancing each other out and picking up slack.

For the Fever, Cappie Pondexter has been a natural fit off the bench since joining the squad, but the team suffers from inconsistency among its starters. To have a chance in this one, as in their two wins, they’ll have to rely mainly on their defense.

Connecticut Sun (10-10) vs. Phoenix Mercury (14-7)

When: Friday, July 13 at 7 p.m. ET

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena | TICKETS

How to watch: WNBA League Pass (worldwide streaming), NBC Sports Boston (New England-area TV)

Injuries: For the Mercury, Diana Taurasi (illness) is questionable.

Storylines to follow

Last meeting: Mercury 84, Sun 77 (July 5)

In an interesting twist, both of these teams that each once looked down from the top of the standings come into this meeting on losing streaks of three and two games, respectively.

While the Mercury’s situation isn’t as dire — they’re still in second place, while the Sun are barely clinging to a playoff spot — they’ll still want to turn things around to avoid falling into their second three-game losing streak of the season. With Sancho Lyttle out for the season and Diana Taurasi’s immediate return from illness questionable, the Mercury could be without these two key starters for the first full game this season.

Meanwhile, the Sun seem to want to come out of their recent slump, but find themselves struggling from the free throw line and allowing key opposing players to have big games. It’s these small differences that they’ll want to focus on in order to turn the possibility of yet another close loss into a solid win.

Washington Mystics (12-8) vs. Chicago Sky (7-13)

When: Friday, July 13 at 7 p.m. ET

Where: Capital One Arena | TICKETS

How to watch: WNBA League Pass (worldwide streaming), NBC Sports Washington (D.C.-area TV), The U Too (Chicago-area TV)

Injuries: Astou Ndour (ankle) has been out and there is no official word yet on her return.

Storylines to follow

Last meeting: Mystics 93, Sky 77 (June 22)

The Mystics have had the Sky’s number this season, and neither of their meetings has been particularly close.

In their first meeting, no Chicago starter scored in double figures as the team shot under 30 percent, and in their second, Elena Delle Donne dropped 30 points in a game that Washington had in hand from the first quarter. Granted, the Sky have since welcomed Stefanie Dolson back to the regular rotation, and Diamond DeShields has emerged as a player to watch as her first WNBA season wears on.

At the same time, the Mystics remain in a three-way tie for third place in spite of their two-game losing streak, and Delle Donne remains a consistent presence — and thus a consistent threat, especially against her former team — at the top of the scoring sheet. This could be just the game that the Mystics need to get back on track and stay in the race for a top spot in the postseason.

Minnesota Lynx (12-8) vs. Las Vegas Aces (9-12)

When: Friday, July 13 at 8 p.m. ET

Where: Target Center | TICKETS

How to watch: WNBA League Pass (worldwide streaming), Fox Sports North Plus (Minnesota-area TV)

Injuries: For the Lynx, Rebekkah Brunson (thigh) is questionable.

Storylines to follow

Last meeting: Lynx 88, Aces 73 (June 24)

Despite all the differences between these teams — their experience levels, their places in the standings, their records being near mirror images of each other — the way that the Lynx and the Aces have been playing lately suggests a potentially heated matchup to close out Friday’s action.

Las Vegas is rolling, its three wins in a row representing its longest winning streak of the season, and players besides (but, of course, in addition to) A’ja Wilson coming up big points-wise. Kayla McBride has averaged 24.3 points per game over the past three games, with Wilson not far behind at 23.3 points per game. With these two at their best, even the third-place Lynx could struggle to keep them off the board.

Sylvia Fowles has had some major results both in points and rebounds lately, with Maya Moore right beside her, but Minnesota has shown some uncharacteristic vulnerability in recent losses to the Sky and Fever. If all of the stars come out for both teams, this game will have truly deserved its final spot in Friday’s lineup.