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Preview: League-leading Mystics seek regular-season series sweep of Lynx in five-game Friday slate

The Washington Mystics travel to face the Minnesota Lynx, looking for the regular-season series sweep. Matchups with potential playoff implications round out tonight’s action.

Minnesota Lynx v Washington Mystics
Elena Delle Donne looks to lead the Washington Mystics to a regular-season sweep over the Minnesota Lynx.
Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

A five-game slate of WNBA games tonight features the first-place Washington Mystics traveling to face the Minnesota Lynx. The matchup is one of three showcasing teams in playoff positions, meaning they have the possibility of determining which teams play at home in the single-elimination rounds of the playoffs.

The Mystics and Lynx face each other for the second time in less than a week. Washington won easily at home, 101-78. Their July matchup in Minnesota was closer, 79-71, in favor the Mystics as well. So, the Lynx will need their defense to step up in a big way if they want to avoid a regular-season series sweep.

The Connecticut Sun, who sit one game behind the Mystics, will host the Seattle Storm. The Sun bounced back with a win over the Phoenix Mercury on Wednesday after dropping back-to-back games, including a 32-point drubbing at the hands of the Lynx. The Sun beat the Storm 81-67 in the teams’ first matchup two months ago.

The Chicago Sky are back home to face the Los Angeles Sparks for the final time in the regular season. The Sparks got the 84-81 win over the Sky on Sunday despite trailing by 12 points after the first quarter. The Sky have yet to beat the Sparks this season but must feel confident in their ability to do it given recent strong performances.

The first of a nationally-televised doubleheader features the New York Liberty against the Dallas Wings. The Wings will be at home, which should give confidence to Wings fans hoping for good performances — Dallas as a winning home record despite its 8-17 overall record. The Liberty, meanwhile, are just 1-9 in their last 10 games, having lost six straight games.

The final game of the night features the Phoenix Mercury and the Atlanta Dream. The Dream have not won since July 12, a 60-53 win over the Minnesota Lynx. The Mercury have dropped their last three and will be without Brittney Griner who is suspended for three games. A loss for Atlanta would be their 11th straight and the first time the team has lost 11 games in a row since 2008 when Atlanta started 0-17.

Game information

Connecticut Sun (17-8) vs. Seattle Storm (14-12)

When: Friday, Aug. 16, at 7:30 p.m. ET

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT

How to watch: WNBA League Pass, NESN+

Keys to the matchup: The matchup between Jonquel Jones and Natasha Howard will be fun to watch. Expect both players to put up double-double numbers. The winner of this matchup most likely determines the outcome of the game.

Minnesota Lynx (13-12) vs. Washington Mystics (18-7)

When: Friday, Aug. 16, at 8 p.m. ET

Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

How to watch: WNBA League Pass, Fox Sports Go (Minnesota), Monumental

Keys to the matchup: The Lynx’s defense against the Mystics’ offense is going to determine this game. The Lynx have to keep Washington’s scoring low if they are going to be in this one.

Chicago Sky (14-10) vs. Los Angeles Sparks (15-9)

When: Friday, Aug. 16, at 8 p.m. ET

Where: Wintrust Arena, Chicago, IL

How to watch: WNBA League Pass, The U Too, Spectrum SportsNet

Keys to the matchup: The Sky and Sparks will need to limit their turnovers as the teams combined for 47 in their last meeting. The Sky surrendered 26 points to Chelsea Gray, so look for some adjustments defensively.

Dallas Wings (8-17) vs. New York Liberty (8-16)

When: Friday, Aug. 16, at 8 p.m. ET

Where: College Park Center, Arlington, TX

How to watch: CBS Network

Keys to the matchup: The Wings are a tough team at home and the Liberty will need scoring from Tina Charles and Kia Nurse to end their losing streak. The Liberty are without Asia Durr for a third straight game due to injury.

Phoenix Mercury (11-13) vs. Atlanta Dream (5-20)

When: Friday, Aug. 16, at 10 p.m. ET

Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, AZ

How to watch: CBS Network

Keys to the matchup: DeWanna Bonner will have to take the lead offensively for the Mercury as they cope with Griner being out for two more games of her three-game ban. The Dream bring a talented backcourt that could give the Mercury fits on both ends of the court.