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Previews: Can the Aces get within half a game of first place?

The Las Vegas Aces have a chance to win a huge game against the Seattle Storm. Plus, the Connecticut Sun face the Chicago Sky and the Phoenix Mercury face the Los Angeles Sparks.

Dallas Wings v Las Vegas Aces
From left to right: JiSu Park, Liz Cambage and Dearica Hamby.
Photo by David Becker/NBAE via Getty Images

The Seattle Storm (12-3) and Las Vegas Aces (10-4) are both coming off upset losses and the Aces in particular will be anxious to get back in the win column when the two teams meet on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Seattle lost to the Washington Mystics (7-8) on Tuesday. It was a Mystics team that was without Elena Delle Donne, Myisha Hines-Allen, Natasha Cloud, Erica McCall and Kiara Leslie and was not expected to win.

Vegas lost to the 7-7 Minnesota Lynx in overtime on Friday. The Lynx are a great team, but not as loaded as the Aces are. Vegas’ winning streaks have gotten longer and longer in between losses, but running away with first place or at least reaching first place has eluded the team. It has now matched its loss total from last season’s 22-game season and this year’s roster is supposed to be even better.

Earlier on Sunday afternoon, at 2 p.m. ET, the Connecticut Sun will look to get over their struggles against the Chicago Sky. If they can’t, they will be in a tie with Chicago for third place. Later, at 6 p.m. ET, the Phoenix Mercury will look start a winning streak after a week off when they face the Los Angeles Sparks, who also won their last game.


Game information

Chicago Sky (9-7) vs. Connecticut Sun (9-5)

When: Sunday, June 27 at 2 p.m. ET

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT

How to watch: NESN+ or CW 26

Key to the matchup: Brionna Jones. The Sky hit the Sun with back-to-back balanced scoring efforts on June 17 and June 19 behind lots of assists from Courtney Vandersloot. Jasmine Thomas and Briann January comprise a great defensive duo in the Connecticut backcourt, but it seems that Vandersloot can’t be stopped. She has at least four assists in every game this year and has had at least nine in her past five contests. If they can’t slow down Vandersloot and the Sky’s point total, the Sun many need a big game from Brionna Jones on the offensive end. Her game-high 22 points on June 19 nearly led Connecticut to victory before a 13-0 run late allowed Chicago to win by 10. Jones will have a difficult matchup with reigning Defensive Player of the Year Candace Parker guarding her at times, but when Ruthy Hebard comes into the game off the bench, Jones will have the experience edge.

Sky injury report: Astou Ndour-Fall (out; EuroBasket)

Sun injury report: Alyssa Thomas (out for season; Achilles), Jonquel Jones (out; EuroBasket)

Seattle Storm (12-3) vs. Las Vegas Aces (10-4)

When: Sunday, June 27 at 4 p.m. ET

Where: Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas, NV

How to watch: ESPN or SN1

Key to the matchup: Vegas’ depth. The Storm have the best big three in the league this year with Breanna Stewart playing like an MVP candidate, Jewell Loyd putting up career highs and Sue Bird shooting lights out from beyond the arc. The Aces have a big three with just as much potential though in A’ja Wilson, Liz Cambage and Chelsea Gray. The difference when the Storm and Aces meet could be Vegas’ plethora of stars beyond their big three. Kelsey Plum, Jackie Young, Dearica Hamby and Riquna Williams give the Aces the best depth in the league while Seattle doesn’t have as much firepower after its big three.

Storm injury report: Mikiah Herbert Harrigan (out for season; personal)

Aces injury report: Angel McCoughtry (out for season; knee)

Los Angeles Sparks (6-7) vs. Phoenix Mercury (6-7)

When: Sunday, June 27 at 6 p.m. ET

Where: Phoenix Suns Arena in Phoenix, AZ

How to watch: Facebook or Bally Sports AZ+

Key to the matchup: Brittney Sykes on Skylar Diggins-Smith. If Diggins-Smith and Brittney Griner continue putting up phenomenal stat lines, Phoenix is going to win some games. They’re not going to consistently lose when that duo performs at an elite level, which they have been doing consistently. Sykes has made it her mission to win Defensive Player of the Year this season and she needs to disrupt Diggins-Smith on the perimeter to give the Sparks a better chance of winning. Without Nneka Ogwumike, it will be much harder for LA to shut down Griner so they need to do a good job on Diggins-Smith.

Sparks injury report: Kristi Toliver (questionable; eye), Bria Holmes (questionable; foot), Chiney Ogwumike (out; knee), Nneka Ogwumike (out; knee), Jasmine Walker (out for season; knee)

Mercury injury report: Bria Hartley (out; knee)