WNBA News, Notes & Lineups 8/31

Aug 31st 2023

Cooper BoniJohn Raudebaugh

Phoenix Mercury at Connecticut Sun, 7pm ET

Mercury Injury Report: Diana Taurasi (toe), Sophie Cunningham (jaw), Shey Peddy (concussion), Skylar Diggins-Smith (maternity leave) are OUT.

Mercury Confirmed Lineup: Moriah Jefferson, Sug Sutton, Michaela Onyenwere, Brianna Turner, Brittney Griner

Sun Injury Report: DiJonai Carrington (foot), Brionna Jones (Achilles) are OUT.

Sun Confirmed Lineup: Natisha Hiedeman, Tiffany Hayes, Rebecca Allen, DeWanna Bonner, Alyssa Thomas

In a blowout loss to the Dream last game, the Mercury provided a glimpse of what the remainder of their season could look like. Moriah Jefferson and Sug Sutton soaked up the bulk of minutes and usage in the backcourt, while frontcourt playing time was diminished for Brittney Griner and Brianna Turner. The last time Phoenix and Connecticut met, Alyssa Thomas fell just short of a triple-double as she logged 20 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists. The Sun have lost both of their games against the Mercury while scoring just 75.0 points per game.

Washington Mystics at Las Vegas Aces, 10pm ET

Mystics Injury Report: Brittney Sykes (illness) is QUESTIONABLE.

Mystics Projected Lineup: Natasha Cloud, Ariel Atkins, Brittney Sykes, Elena Delle Donne, Shakira Austin

Aces Injury Report: TBD

Aces Projected Lineup: Chelsea Gray, Kelsey Plum, Jackie Young, A'ja Wilson, Kiah Stokes

One of the Aces' four losses this month came against the Mystics less than a week ago. Despite a nearly even split in rebounds in that game, the Mystics outscored the Aces by 14 points in the paint. A'ja Wilson was held to 14 points and committed three turnovers, while Elena Delle Donne recorded a team-high 21 points for Washington. The Aces committed 19 turnovers in that game, including four from Chelsea Gray. The Mystics have logged a league-best 94.7 defensive rating over the last five games.

Seattle Storm at Los Angeles Sparks, 10pm ET

Storm Injury Report: Gabby Williams (foot) is OUT.

Storm Projected Lineup: Sami Whitcomb, Jewell Loyd, Jordan Horston, Ezi Magbegor, Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu

Sparks Injury Report: Layshia Clarendon (health protocols), Lexie Brown (illness), Chiney Ogwumike (foot), Nia Clouden (knee), Katie Lou Samuelson (maternity leave) are OUT.

Sparks Projected Lineup: Jordin Canada, Jasmine Thomas, Karlie Samuelson, Nneka Ogwumike, Azurá Stevens

With five games left, the Sparks are trying to stay in the playoff hunt. Given the tough upcoming schedule, their matchup with Seattle could be considered a must-win. After this game, Los Angeles will play the Mystics, Sun, and Liberty before playing the Storm once more in Seattle to finish the regular season. Jordin Canada should continue to play big minutes and anchor the defense. In August, she's averaged a league-high 3.5 steals per game while her 35.2 minutes per game have been the third-most league-wide. Meanwhile, opponents have averaged a league-high 9.1 steals per game against the Storm this month.