WNBA Previews: Phoenix Mercury look to stay scorching vs. New York Liberty

The Phoenix Mercury (14-10), who’ve received their final 5 video games, tackle the New York Liberty (11-15), who’re combating for his or her playoff lives, on Friday at 8 p.m. ET. Then, at 10 p.m. ET, the Chicago Sky (12-12) will probably be on the highway dealing with the Seattle Storm (18-8), who’re making an attempt to keep away from a second-straight loss to the Sky.

Phoenix has been on a tear because the season restarted, successful 5 video games by a mean of 14 factors. Most lately, the Mercury thrashed the Liberty, 106-79. The three-pronged assault of Diana Taurasi, Skylar Diggins-Smith and Brittney Griner mixed for 74 factors. In the meantime, Brianna Turner added her sixth double-double of the season with 10 factors and 15 rebounds, marking her fifth-straight sport with 10 or extra rebounds. The Mercury’s rhythm ought to scare the groups forward of them as we get nearer to the playoffs.

The Liberty’s identification is 3-point capturing. They boast the second-best share (36.8) and make a mean of 10.4 threes per sport. Protection has been their challenge, as they’ve the third-worst defensive score within the league and allow 86.2 factors per sport, the second-worst mark within the WNBA.

With six video games remaining for New York, it might want to grind out some wins as it’s simply half a sport forward of the Los Angeles Sparks for the eighth and closing playoff spot.

The Chicago Sky are 2-2 because the restart and, with a point-differential of two.3, it’s exhausting to argue that the Sky ought to be anyplace else however the center of the pack. The Sky are two video games forward of the Liberty, who’ve performed two extra video games than the Sky. This benefit ought to put some Sky followers comfortable however Chicago must get wins to keep away from crashing out of the playoff image at this late stage of the season.

Of their first sport after the Olympic break, the Sky beat the Storm 87-85 in time beyond regulation, which ought to give them some confidence. The Storm have regarded beatable over the past two weeks. Seattle had a six-point lead with about 90 seconds to play earlier than that evaporated and it was the Sky who closed out the sport within the closing minute of play within the further interval.

Allie Quigley, regardless of not being a constant starter, has been the best scorer for the Sky with 14.6 factors. Quigley can be capturing a staggering 48.3 % from lengthy vary. Candace Parker’s presence has been actual for the Sky. The star ahead has missed 9 video games with the Sky posting a 1-8 file with out her on the court docket. Parker posted 18 factors within the Sky’s recent victory over the Atlanta Dream.

The Storm have misplaced three of their final 5 video games and sit 1.5 behind the Connecticut Solar within the race for the highest seed. With six video games to go, Seattle might want to discover one other gear to achieve the summit and submit the most effective regular-season file because it fights for an opportunity to repeat as champion.

Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd are the 2 engines of the Storm’s offense. Getting them concerned early and sometimes ought to lead to good issues for Seattle. It obtained off to a gradual begin in its loss to the Minnesota Lynx, getting outscored 25-14 within the first quarter. Seattle obtained beat up within the paint all through that sport, one thing that it might want to repair going ahead. Towards the Sky, Candace Parker ought to draw their consideration for positive.

These two groups will see one another once more on Aug. 29, with considered one of them seeking to avenge a loss.

Recreation data

New York Liberty (11-15) vs. Phoenix Mercury (14-10)

When: Friday, Aug. 27 at 8 p.m. ET

The place: Barclays Heart, Brooklyn, NY

The way to watch: CBS Sports activities Community

Key to the matchup: The Liberty want to search out methods to get stops. New York has no drawback scoring, however when it’s on protection, the Mercury have the benefit. If she performs, search for Griner to personal the paint after scoring 26 factors within the Mercury’s win on Wednesday.

Liberty harm report: Jazmine Jones (questionable; foot), Jocelyn Willoughby (out for season; Achilles), Sami Whitcomb (out; ankle)

Mercury harm report: Britney Griner (questionable; ankle); Bria Hartley (out indefinitely; knee)

Seattle Storm (18-8) vs. Chicago Sky (12-12)

When: Friday, Aug. 27 at 10 p.m. ET

The place: Angel of the Winds Enviornment, Everett, WA

The way to watch: Fb, KCPQ 13 (Seattle), The U

Key to the matchup: Candace Parker is a distinction maker for the Sky. If she is ready to get going, the Sky might be in line for an additional victory. The Storm are experiencing a bit little bit of a droop. They should step it up if they’ll match their expectations for this season.

Sky harm report: none

Storm harm report: Mikiah Herbert Harrigan (out for season; private)

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