WNBA: Sky face Sun; Mercury battle Mystics; Wings take on Aces

Teams resume play after All-Star break

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 26: WNBA All-Star Game 2019 team captain A'ja Wilson (L) of the Las Vegas Aces and her teammate Kayla McBride talk before the Skills Challenge and 3-Point Contest of the WNBA All-Star Friday Night at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on July 26, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Teams are back in action after a successful All-Star weekend, according to WNBA.com

Chicago Sky vs. Connecticut Sun Preview (tip off 7 p.m. ET)

The Chicago Sky often appear to be the odd team out when potential WNBA title contenders are considered. They have a chance to change the narrative and tighten the top of the league standings Tuesday night when they face the Connecticut Sun. The Sky are fifth overall in the league standings, two games back of co-leaders Connecticut and Las Vegas but not mentioned in the same breath as the Sun, the Aces, the Washington Mystics, or the Los Angeles Sparks often when it comes to teams with title aspirations. But now it is back to business for Chicago, which is seeking its first five-game winning streak. The Sky have averaged 85 points in their four wins, with Vandersloot, the WNBA's leader in assists at 8 per game.

Connecticut also closed out the first half of the season on a four-game win streak. Shekinna Stricklen, whose averages 8 points per game and is shooting 39.1 percent from 3-point range. Jonquel Jones and Alyssa Thomas represented Connecticut in the All-Star game, with Jones totaling 13 points and 13 rebounds and Thomas chipping in eight points for Team Delle Donne. This game pits two of the league's best offenses against each other as the Sky enter the game second in scoring at 79 points per game, while the Sun are fourth.

Phoenix Mercury vs. Washington Mystics Preview (tip off 7 p.m. ET)

The Phoenix Mercury have every reason to be optimistic coming out of the All-Star break considering they closed out the first half of the season with three straight victories. The Mercury have played all but one game without the league's all-time leading scorer Diana Taurasi, whose return from a back injury is not expected any time soon. All-Stars Brittney Griner and DeWanna Bonner have shouldered the offensive load for Phoenix, ranking first and second in the WNBA in scoring at 19 and 18 points per game, respectively. The Mercury - who will wrap up this trip Thursday at Connecticut - can also draw strength from their first trip to the nation's capital, storming to a 91-68 victory as Griner had 25 points and eight rebounds while Bonner contributed 22 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Phoenix pulled away in the second half by holding Washington to 24 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter.

Elena Delle Donne did not play in that game for the Mystics due to a nasal fracture, but the All-Star captain powered Washington to a three-game winning streak into the break upon her return. She averaged 22 points and 9 rebounds in that run to help Washington move one-half game behind Connecticut and Las Vegas for the league's best record. Washington continues to pace the WNBA offensively, averaging league bests of 83 points and 8 3-pointers.

Fellow All-Star Kristi Toliver, who had a season-best 32 points in the win over the Lynx, has averaged 17 points and 6 assists in her last four games. One player the Mystics are counting on to help balance their scoring is forward Emma Meeseman, who has played just seven games this season due to representing Belgium in the EuroBasket tournament. Meeseman, who did not play in the loss to the Mercury earlier this month, scored in double figures in her first five games but had a combined four in the last two.

Dallas Wings vs. Las Vegas Aces Preview (tip off 10 p.m. ET)

The Las Vegas Aces come out of the All-Star break tied for the best record in the WNBA. Meanwhile, the Dallas Wings are still looking for their first road win of 2019.

Aiming for a third consecutive victory Tuesday night, the Aces can drop the Wings to 0-10 on the road by handing them a season-high sixth consecutive defeat overall. Las Vegas did a stellar job hosting last weekend's All-Star activities, and now the city gears up for what it hopes will be a run to the WNBA title for the Aces. Vegas has won seven of eight and shares the top spot in the league with Connecticut, which holds the tiebreaker between the teams based on winning their only meeting to date in early June. 

Meanwhile, Liz Cambage has played like the star Vegas expected when it acquired her from Dallas prior to the season, averaging 17 points and 10 boards over the last six games.Cambage had a modest 11 points, but nine rebounds, six assists and five blocks during an 86-68 home win over her former Dallas team on June 22. Vegas' Dearica Hamby scored 27 off the bench in that contest, and had 24 in the Aces' 79-62 home victory over Seattle right before the break.

The Wings find themselves at the opposite end of the WNBA standings, with only Atlanta below them. They're also the only team without a road win, and have not lost their first 10 away from home since 2012 when based in Tulsa. Dallas has not been able to win anywhere in July, going 1-7. However, its last three games have been decided by a combined 14 points. The Wings, who rank near the bottom of the league averaging 69 points, shot 33 percent in a 70-66 loss to Phoenix on July 20. Kayla Thornton scored 16, as she and WNBA Rookie of the Year candidate Arike Ogunbowale have been Dallas' most consistent offensive producers while it awaits the return of star Sylar Diggins-Smith (pregnancy). Ogunbowale scored 25 and Thornton pulled down 10 boards as the Wings shot 28 percent at Vegas last month.


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