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Preview: Playoff-bound teams look to solidify positions in first 3 games of 6-game Sunday

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The Connecticut Sun face the Los Angeles Sparks with the Sparks trying to close an already-narrow gap. Meanwhile, the Washington Mystics look to rebound after their winning streak ended Friday.

Connecticut Sun v Los Angeles Sparks
Jonquel Jones (left) of the Connecticut Sun and Nneka Ogumike (right) of the Los Angeles Sparks should be huge factors in Sunday’s matchup.
Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images

The playoffs are nearly upon us. Before we get there, the seeding needs to be worked out. The first three of six games features three teams that are already playoff-bound but are very close in the standings.

The Connecticut Sun currently own the longest winning streak in the WNBA at four games, including a second-half comeback over the Las Vegas Aces their last time out. However, the Sun will be on the road facing the Los Angeles Sparks, a place where the Sun have already lost this season. The Sparks are 2.5 games away from first place; a win could put the Sparks in contention to bypass the single-elimination rounds.

The Washington Mystics return home following a loss to the Chicago Sky that ended their six-game winning streak, where they will face the New York Liberty. That loss coupled with a Sun victory on the same day leaves the Mystics tied with the Sun for first place. The Liberty ended their eight-game losing streak by beating the Indiana Fever and then followed the win up with a loss to the Atlanta Dream. The Mystics won the first meeting in New York, but the pressure is on them to keep pace with the Sun.

The Dream have finally ended their 12-game losing streak with a win over the Liberty, but all they left to play for is pride as they have been eliminated from playoff contention. The Dallas Wings return home having lost their last two games, but have already beaten the Dream in Dallas once this season. The Wings are a longshot to make the playoffs as they trail the Phoenix Mercury by 4.5 games with six games to play.

Here’s how to watch Sunday’s first three games:


Game information

Washington Mystics (20-8) vs. New York Liberty (9-19)

When: Sunday, Aug. 25, at 3 p.m. ET

Where: Entertainment and Sports Arena, Washington, DC

How to watch: NBA TV, NBC Sports Washington, SN1

Keys to the matchup: Tina Charles has been the rock of the Liberty, but it will take an entire team effort to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. The Mystics are simply too good here. Look for Elena Delle Donne to lead them to another victory.

Dallas Wings (9-19) vs. Atlanta Dream (6-19)

When: Sunday, Aug. 25, at 4 p.m. ET

Where: College Park Center, Arlington, TX

How to watch: WNBA League Pass, FOX Sports Plus

Keys to the matchup: These teams are defined by their strong guard play: Arike Ogunbowale and Allisha Gray for Dallas and Tiffany Hayes and Brittany Sykes for Atlanta. However, Kayla Thornton vs. Elizabeth Williams down in the post is the matchup to keep an eye on. Although this is not a top-tier matchup, it will be fun to watch.

Los Angeles Sparks (17-10) vs. Connecticut Sun (20-8)

When: Sunday, Aug. 25, at 5 p.m. ET

Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA

How to watch: NBA TV, Spectrum SportsNet, NESN+, NBATV Canada

Keys to the matchup: So many post players to name in this game: There’s Jonquel Jones and Alyssa Thomas for the Sun, while the Sparks bring Candace Parker and Chiney and Nneka Ogwumike. The Sparks can put the pressure on the Sun down the stretch with a win.