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Preview: Sun, Sparks rematch in Connecticut, plus two more Thursday night games

Tonight, the Sun and Sparks meet for the second time this season, the Aces and Dream both try to reach .500 and the Lynx look to get back to their winning ways against the Mercury.

In the May 31 meeting between the Sun and Sparks, a 77-70 Los Angeles win, Jonquel Jones (shooting) and Chiney Ogwumike (defending) led their respective teams in scoring.
Courtesy of Connecticut Sun via Twitter

There’s a packed slate of WNBA games tonight, and even at this early point in the season, there’s a lot to talk about.

The Las Vegas Aces (1-2) and Atlanta Dream (1-2) kick things off, with both teams having lost their last two games after winning their openers. For the Aces, winning without Liz Cambage was supposed to be an indication that with her, the wins would become more plentiful — but they haven’t been. Meanwhile, the Dream started shaky with a four-point victory over still-winless Dallas, and things haven’t gotten much better. A win would be a big morale-booster for either team.

Tonight’s docket has one rematch: The Los Angeles Sparks (2-1) and the Connecticut Sun (3-1) will face off again six days after the Sparks grabbed a 77-70 win at home. While both teams are in the win column, the knowledge that a Sparks loss would send them right back to the middle of the pack, statistically, could provide extra motivation on the road. But the Sun are only looking to avenge their one loss on the season.

In the game with the latest start, the Phoenix Mercury (1-1) and Minnesota Lynx (3-1) take the court tonight in Minneapolis. While the Lynx were recently handed their first loss of the season, the Mercury are one of just two teams in the league who have only played two games. Will this make Phoenix more well-rested and able to compete with the hot Lynx, or will Minnesota find its winning momentum again and grab a home victory?

Here’s how to watch and what to look for in each of tonight’s games:

Game information

Las Vegas Aces (1-2) vs. Atlanta Dream (1-2)

When: Thursday, June 6, at 7 p.m. ET

Where: State Farm Arena, Atlanta, GA

How to watch: CBS Sports Network (national TV)

Keys to the matchup: These teams’ records may be identical, but their paths to them haven’t been: While the Aces followed up an easy win with two close losses, the Dream followed up a close win with two blowout losses. So, where the Aces have had a tough time closing games, the Dream have had a tough time getting into games in the first place. If this dynamic holds true tonight, Atlanta may be able to sneak in and grab a late win — assuming they don’t dig themselves into too big of a hole first.

Los Angeles Sparks (2-1) vs. Connecticut Sun (3-1)

When: Thursday, June 6, at 7 p.m. ET

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT

How to watch: WNBA League Pass (worldwide streaming), NESN+ (New England-area TV), Spectrum SportsNet (LA-area TV)

Keys to the matchup: As in the May 31 meeting between these teams, the battle of the centers will be the one to watch again tonight. Chiney Ogwumike’s game-high 20 points led the Sparks, while Jonquel Jones paced the Sun with 16 points and a career-high-tying 22 rebounds. But it’s not all about the centers in particular. While the Sun’s frontcourt has been overall offensive-minded of late, they weren’t in the first meeting in Los Angeles, leaving Jones to her own devices down low against both Chiney and Nneka Ogwumike. The Sparks might find themselves with a 2-0 season series lead if Shekinna Stricklen and Alyssa Thomas don’t step up offensively for Connecticut.

Phoenix Mercury (1-1) vs. Minnesota Lynx (3-1)

When: Thursday, June 6, at 8 p.m. ET

Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

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

Keys to the matchup: The area where the Lynx must improve against the Mercury is in rebounding, having grabbed just 17 total (of which only three were offensive) in their Tuesday loss to Seattle. Phoenix isn’t a great rebounding team, but considering the Brittney Griner/DeWanna Bonner duo down low can easily combine for 17 rebounds on any given night, Minnesota will want to be more competitive tonight. Beyond that, this will be an interesting matchup between a Lynx team with a lot of young and otherwise new stars and a veteran-led Mercury team still finding their footing just two games into their season.