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Previews: Sun face Liberty in three-game Saturday

After a doubleheader on ABC, Jonquel Jones leads the Connecticut Sun against Sabrina Ionescu and the New York Liberty. The Las Vegas Aces take on the Washington Mystics while the Los Angeles Sparks host the Chicago Sky.

WNBA: JUN 01 Las Vegas Aces at Connecticut Sun
Jonquel Jones is making an early season case for the MVP award.
Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A three-game Saturday is headlined by the Connecticut Sun taking on the New York Liberty, losers of two straight games. The Las Vegas Aces are on the road against the Washington Mystics while the Chicago Sky look to put an end to their six game skid against the Los Angeles Sparks.

The Sun have gotten to a nice start, winning seven of their first nine games. They are the only team with an undefeated record at home (4-0). The Sun have started off very well on the defensive end, holding teams to a league-best 73.4 points per contest and they are holding teams to 39.8 percent shooting from the floor, the second-best mark in the league. Jonquel Jones is on the MVP campaign trail early this year, averaging 20.6 points and 10.1 rebounds.

The Liberty started 5-1 but have fallen to 5-3, having lost their last two games. The Liberty are scoring at a clip of 83.9 points per game but are struggling to get stops, allowing a third-worst 84.8 points. The Liberty are much improved from the 3-point area to start the season, shooting 41.4 percent which is up from 27.7 percent last season. Betnijah Laney leads the Liberty with 22.4 points, which is the third-best mark in the league.

Mystics look to turn it around

The Mystics have started 2-4 and are facing one of the best offenses in the league. They have not proven to be consistent on offense, scoring just 78.3 points per game, but are keeping their opponents within range, allowing 79.5 points per game. Tina Charles has been a force in her return, averaging 26.7 points to start the season.

The Aces have the best net rating in the WNBA at 12.6, with the best offensive rating (107.2) and the third-best defensive rating (94.7). The Aces have five players averaging double-figure points with 2020 MVP A’ja Wilson leading the pack with 19 points.

Slumping Sky go on the road

The Sky have lost six-straight games but are on the road where they are 2-1 as opposed to 0-5 at Wintrust Arena. Despite their start, the Sky boast the best defensive rating in the league at 93.9 and they are tied for third in steals per game at 8.1. However, the Sky have struggled offensively, shooting a second-worst 38.8 percent from the floor. Kahleah Copper leads the Sky with 14.5 points per game.

Two of the Sparks’ three wins have come against the Sky. LA sits in the bottom third of the league in several offensive categories, but it has been able to offset that with middle-of-the-road defense. The Sparks will be without leading scorer Nneka Ogumike due to a knee injury and rookie Jasmine Walker is out for the season with a torn ACL. Kristi Toliver will look to lead the Sparks to another win over the Sky.

Game Information

Washington Mystics (2-4) vs. Las Vegas Aces (6-3)

When: Saturday, June 5 at 1 p.m. ET

Where: Entertainment and Sports Arena, Washington, D.C.

How to watch: ABC, SN360

Key to the matchup: The length of Wilson and Liz Cambage will make it difficult for Tina Charles. The Aces are the second best team in the league with 6.3 blocks. The frontcourt of the Aces will make life difficult for the Mystics. The Mystics make nine 3-point shots per game and will need them to offset the paint scoring of the Aces.

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

Mystics injury report: Elena Delle Donne (out indefinitely; back), Sydney Wiese (questionable; ankle)

Los Angeles Sparks (3-3) vs. Chicago Sky (2-6)

When: Saturday, June 5 at 3 p.m. ET

Where: Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA

How to watch: ABC, SN360

Key to the matchup: The Sky’s 3-point defense is suspect at 37.7, which is third-worst while the Sparks shoot 37.9 percent, which is tied for third-best in the league. The Sky and the Sparks will be looking for consistency on offense, which has been the weak point for both teams to start the season.

Sparks injury report: Nneka Ogumike (out indefinitely; knee), Chiney Ogumike (out; knee), Jasmine Walker (out for season; knee), Maria Vadeeva (out indefinitely; personal).

Sky injury report: Candace Parker (out; ankle)

Connecticut Sun (7-2) vs. New York Liberty (5-3)

When: Saturday, June 5 at 7 p.m. ET

Where: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT

How to watch: NESN, SN1, YES, WNBA League Pass

Key to the matchup: The Liberty are a good 3-point shooting team while Jonquel Jones will look to go to work in the paint. DeWanna Bonner could prove to be a matchup nightmare for the Liberty. Sabrina Ionescu is a triple-double threat every night and will look to direct the Liberty to a win.

Sun injury report: Alyssa Thomas (out for season; Achilles).

Liberty injury report: Natasha Howard (out; knee), Jazmine Jones (probable; elbow), Jocelyn Willoughby (out; Achilles).