Teams playing tonight get their last regular-season action before the WNBA All-Star Break.
The Atlanta Dream and Los Angeles Sparks play at State Farm Arena. The Sparks have an injury-hobbled roster but won three consecutive games before losing to the Liberty 83-78 on Sunday. Despite playing without several key players, including Candace Parker and Alana Beard (injuries) and Riquna Williams (suspension), Los Angeles should still be favored to win against Atlanta. The Dream, with injuries of their own and a 12th-seed standing, are on a four-game losing streak heading to tonight’s game.
Also tonight, the Phoenix Mercury will host the Indiana Fever. Phoenix won each of its last two games against the Dallas Wings in close affairs. They will play an Indiana team on a five-game losing streak. Though the Mercury should win this game with their star frontcourt of Brittney Griner and DeWanna Bonner, the Fever still have a chance if they aren’t in “vacation” mode at tipoff. The Mercury also are limited by injuries. Essence Carson is out for 6-8 weeks due to a calf injury and Sancho Lyttle is out with a bone bruise on her left knee, the same knee in which she tore her ACL last year. Diana Taurasi also is not expected to play.
Last but not least, the Las Vegas Aces will host the Seattle Storm in tonight’s ESPN2 game. It seems fitting for Las Vegas to host the defending WNBA champion Storm before All-Star Weekend, which the Aces will also host. Las Vegas has won eight of their last 10 games while the Seattle is on a four-game winning streak.
This is also a rematch of Friday’s game in Seattle, which the Storm won 69-66 even though they shot just 27.8 percent from the field. Will this game be another defensive exhibition by both sides or will it be a more high-scoring affair?
Atlanta Dream (5-14) vs. Los Angeles Sparks (10-8)
When: Tuesday, July 23, at 7 p.m. ET
Where: State Farm Arena, Atlanta, GA
How to watch: Twitter
Keys to the matchup: The Sparks’ frontcourt duo of sisters Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike will be key for Los Angeles to win the game. But for Atlanta, Elizabeth Williams scored in double digits in five of her last six games. In the Dream’s loss to the Mystics on Sunday, Williams scored 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting and recorded five rebounds. If Williams can have a bigger scoring night, along with Tiffany Hayes, the Dream can pull off the upset.
Phoenix Mercury (9-8) vs. Indiana Fever (6-14)
When: Tuesday, July 23, at 10 p.m. ET
Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, AZ
How to watch: WatchESPN, WNBA League Pass
Keys to the matchup: The Fever are a long shot to win tonight’s game with Brittney Griner and DeWanna Bonner starting in the frontcourt for Phoenix. But if Candice Dupree (11.5 points), Natalie Achonwa (10.1 points) and rookie Teaira McCowan (6.7 points, 8.9 rebounds) can put up bigger scoring and defensive performances, Indiana could keep this game close. McCowan is also coming off an 11-point, 16-rebound performance on Sunday against the Chicago Sky which should give her significant momentum tonight.
Seattle Storm (12-8) vs. Las Vegas Aces (12-6)
When: Tuesday, July 23, at 10 p.m. ET
Where: Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas, NV
How to watch: ESPN2, WatchESPN
Keys to the matchup: For the Storm to beat the Aces once again, they will need more production from Jewell Loyd, who was scoreless in July 19’s head-to-head match. Granted, she had just returned to the lineup following an ankle injury. Natasha Howard is the Western Conference’s Player of the Week and will look to repeat her 21-point, 10-rebound effort tonight against the likes of Liz Cambage and Kayla McBride (despite the domestic violence allegations against her). The Aces need to limit turnovers after committing 21 on Friday.