The Seattle Storm (16-7), losers of two straight, are on the road against the New York Liberty (11-12) to close their two-game mini series Friday at 7 p.m. ET. The Dallas Wings (10-13) return home following a victory over the Chicago Sky to face the last-place Indiana Fever (4-18) at 8 p.m. ET.
In their last meeting on Wednesday, the Liberty beat the Storm 83-79, overcoming a 10-point deficit heading into the final quarter. The Liberty outscored the Storm 21-7 in the fourth quarter. Seattle has been playing without Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart since the season’s restart as they have been resting from their Olympic run.
Jewell Loyd put up 35 points in the loss with Katie Lou Samuelson as the other Storm player to reach double figures (15 points). Loyd scored 21 points in the third but failed to score in the final quarter. The Storm were 9-of-26 (34.6 percent) on 3-point shooting and 43.7 percent overall. Offensive execution will need to improve, regardless of who is on the floor.
The Liberty will hope their hot outside shooting continues as they shot 12-of-25 from beyond the arc in their win over the Storm. Rebecca Allen was 5-of-6 on 3-pointers as she finished with 17 points off of the bench. Betnijah Laney scored 17 points as well while Sabrina Ionescu and Natasha Howard each added 10 points.
The Liberty had 21 turnovers, their eighth game of the season with 20 or more turnovers. With the win, the Liberty moved to 4-3 in such games. Going forward, the Liberty will need to be better in this aspect of their game.
Playoffs in the balance
The Wings are 1-1 since the restart of the season and sit in eighth place, just half a game ahead of the Los Angeles Sparks who have won three consecutive games since the WNBA returned. With just nine games remaining, the Wings will need to find another level if they want to make the playoffs after having failed to qualify since 2018. The Fever sit five games behind the Wings.
The Wings and Fever meet for the second time this season. Dallas won the first meeting with ease, 89-64.
The Wings are led by Arike Ogunbowale, who is scoring 18.8 points per game. Marina Mabrey is averaging 13.2 points but has failed to reach double figures in her last four games. Allisha Gray scored 20 points for the Wings in their last victory and sits at 12 points per contest. Satou Sabally has been dealing with an Achilles injury since the Olympic break and has yet to return to action.
ICYMI: Arike Ogunbowale extended her double-digit scoring streak to 6⃣0⃣ games on Tuesday.— Dallas Wings (@DallasWings) August 19, 2021
And oh by the way, it's the 5️⃣th longest streak in WNBA history. pic.twitter.com/xHayYaqSzz
The Fever have dropped the two games they have played since the season restarted, having lost to the Sparks and the Phoenix Mercury by a combined nine points. The Fever may be showing signs of improvement but it is probably too late at this point in the season.
The Fever took an uncharacteristically-high 22 threes in their loss to the Mercury, making 10 of those. The Fever have been a 2-point focused team this season, shooting 75.9 percent of their shots from inside the arc, which is second in the league.
Both defenses are near the bottom of the league, so it could turn into a shootout.
Seattle Storm (16-7) vs. New York Liberty (11-12)
When: Friday, Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
How to watch: Amazon Prime, YES App, Joe TV
Key to the matchup: Who will step up alongside Jewell Loyd? Loyd is a proven star in this league but will need additional scoring power from someone else if the Storm are going to get back to their winning ways. Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird being back could be just what Seattle needs. The Liberty will be relying on their 3-point shooting, which has proven to be quite successful this season.
Storm injury report: Kiana Williams (out; ankle), Mikiah Herbert Harrigan (out for season; personal)
Liberty injury report: Reshanda Gray (out; personal), Jazmine Jones (out; foot), Jocelyn Willoughby (out for season; Achilles)
Dallas Wings (10-13) vs. Indiana Fever (4-18)
When: Friday, Aug. 20 at 8 p.m. ET
Where: College Park Center, Arlington, TX
How to watch: CBS Sports Network, BSSW+, Fever.wnba.com
Key to the matchup: Arike Ogunbowale will be the go-to player for the Wings, which means the Fever will need to put their defensive effort into stopping her. For the Fever, Kelsey Mitchell will drive the offense.
Wings injury report: Satou Sabally (out; Achilles)
Fever injury report: Jantel Lavender (out; knee), Kysre Gondrezick (out; personal), Chelsey Perry (out; knee), Bernadett Határ (out; ankle), Tiffany Mitchell (questionable; concussion protocol), Jessica Breland (out; personal)