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Preview: Lynx host Sun, look to improve playoff position in Friday evening WNBA doubleheader

Against the Connecticut Sun on Friday, the Minnesota Lynx will look to improve their position in a packed middle of the WNBA standings. Later, the Las Vegas Aces host the Chicago Sky with playoff positioning on the line.

WNBA: JULY 06 Minnesota Lynx at Connecticut Sun
Sylvia Fowles and Jonquel Jones are two All-Star posts who will make an intriguing frontcourt battle between the Minnesota Lynx and Connecticut Sun when their teams face off on Friday night.
Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Minnesota Lynx host the WNBA-leading Connecticut Sun in the first game of tonight’s WNBA doubleheader. Both games are on CBS Sports Network.

Minnesota is currently seventh in the WNBA standings, but just one game behind the Seattle Storm and two games behind the Chicago Sky. A win tonight can help the Lynx secure a top six finish. If they end the regular season in sixth place, Minnesota will begin the first round of the playoffs at home.

The Sun weren’t projected to be the WNBA’s regular-season leader — but here they are. Connecticut is on a league-high seven-game winning streak due in large part to Jonquel Jones, who has recorded double-doubles in scoring and rebounding for each of her past four games, and Courtney Williams, who scored a season-high 28 points against the New York Liberty on Aug. 4.

This is the third and final match between the Lynx and Sun, with the season series tied 1-1: The Sun beat the Lynx in Minnesota on June 14 (85-81) and the Lynx defeated the Sun in Connecticut on July 6 (74-71).

In Friday’s second game, the Las Vegas Aces host the Chicago Sky in a match between teams jockeying for playoff position. The Aces are in third place and vying for a No. 2 finish that would allow them to start the playoffs in the semifinals. The Sky are in fifth place, just one game behind the Los Angeles Sparks, with No. 4 spot providing a first-round bye.

Game information

Minnesota Lynx (11-11) vs. Connecticut Sun (16-6)

When: Friday, Aug. 9, at 8 p.m. ET

Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

How to watch: CBS Sports Network, FOX Sports Go, NESN Plus

Keys to the matchup: Though the Lynx match up well against the Sun, they are still underdogs. It will be key for Fowles, the 2017 WNBA MVP, to have a strong performance against Jones tonight. If Minnesota can win the battle in the low post, they will have a chance to win tonight. On Aug. 6, Collier had her first 20-point game since the 22-point performance of her rookie debut. If Collier can get into a rhythm, it will be difficult for Connecticut to win this game.

Las Vegas Aces (15-8) vs. Chicago Sky (13-9)

When: Friday, Aug. 9, at 10:30 p.m. ET

Where: Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas, NV

How to watch: CBS Sports Network, MyLVTV

Keys to the matchup: For the Sky to win tonight, they will need a big performance from their starting frontcourt of Stefanie Dolson and Jantel Lavender. But Dolson and Lavender don’t have to score many points to make an impact. They both average nearly 20 combined points per game. Still, they will have to slow down Las Vegas’ All-Star frontcourt of Liz Cambage and Dearica Hamby, who has been starting in place of the injured A’ja Wilson.