For most of the first half of Friday’s game, it looked like the Washington Mystics were well on their way to defeating the Las Vegas Aces and adding another win to their WNBA-best five-game streak.
But then, Mother Nature stepped in and delivered a game-ending earthquake. With that game now perpetually at halftime, the Mystics move on to their next challenge against Los Angeles. Incidentally, they defeated the Sparks for their season-high eighth straight win last season — so can LA end this Mystics streak at five?
Not far behind Washington are the New York Liberty and their four-game win streak, a number they haven’t seen since 2017’s 10-game run. With their Wednesday win over the Storm by far their strongest win of the streak, they’ll face perhaps an even tougher test as they host the Aces this afternoon.
Both of today’s later matchups — between the Dallas Wings and Chicago Sky and the Atlanta Dream and Phoenix Mercury — are real season check-ins for all teams involved. The Wings have been showing signs of life, while the Sky look to get back on track after dropping their last four games. The Dream, meanwhile, just won their first game in more than two weeks, and could take advantage of that momentum against a Mercury team that’s been inconsistent at best all season.
Here’s how to watch today’s games:
Las Vegas Aces (8-5) vs. New York Liberty (7-7)
When: Sunday, July 7, at 3 p.m. ET
Where: Westchester County Center, White Plains, NY
How to watch: WNBA League Pass, FOX Sports GO
Keys to the matchup: Consider this game a much-needed do-over for the Aces, who were struggling on defense against the Mystics when their Friday game ended at halftime. It might not be too much of a break — although the Aces are second to the Mystics’ first in points per game, the Liberty are in third. That said, Las Vegas had no issue either finding offense or playing shutdown defense last time out against New York in a 35-point victory.
Washington Mystics (9-3) vs. Los Angeles Sparks (6-6)
When: Sunday, July 7, at 5 p.m. ET
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
How to watch: WNBA League Pass, Spectrum SportsNet (LA-area TV), Monumental Sports (DC-area TV)
Keys to the matchup: The Mystics have moved from one side of the latest earthquakes’ epicenter to the other, so not having yet another quake disrupt this game would be great for all involved parties. Beyond that, Washington simply needs to keep playing how it’s been playing. In their last five completed games, the team leads the league in points, overall shooting percentage, free throw percentage, three-point percentage and steals, while finishing in the top five in nearly every other statistical category. The Sparks are starting to wake up after a run of bad losses, but having already been thrashed by the Mystics at home this season, it might be another tough day.
Dallas Wings (4-8) vs. Chicago Sky (6-7)
When: Sunday, July 7, at 6 p.m. ET
Where: Wintrust Arena, Chicago, IL
How to watch: WNBA League Pass, The U Too (Chicago-area TV)
Keys to the matchup: These two teams are the WNBA’s poster children for how quickly a season can change. Once the only winless team in the league, Dallas has won two of its last four — which doesn’t sound so great until you compare it to Chicago’s four-game losing streak. The 11th-place Wings are still in self-preservation mode — they’re not shooting well, they still don’t look like a cohesive unit, plus they don’t have a single road win — but at least they’re going into a game with some semblance of an advantage over an opponent. As for the Sky? This is an excellent opportunity to try to turn things around — it’s as simple as that.
Atlanta Dream (3-9) vs. Phoenix Mercury (5-6)
When: Sunday, July 7, at 6 p.m. ET
Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, AZ
How to watch: WNBA League Pass, WSB Now (Atlanta-based livestream)
Keys to the matchup: There’s the marked inconsistency of the Mercury this season, and then there’s the three-win Dream. Atlanta has slowly been improving the value of its wins this season — first the Wings, then the Fever, then its latest game against the Storm — but the team has also followed up each win with a losing streak of at least four games. The Dream also aren’t doing themselves any favors with WNBA-worst marks in points per game and shooting percentage. While the Mercury aren’t doing much better in these areas, they are still better. If the Dream want to make their fans think they’re ready to turn things around, getting a second straight win is crucial. But the Mercury have to feel the same way after losing a three-game winning streak that showed their own fans that they could be consistently good.