The Phoenix Mercury continue their three-game Eastern Conference road swing against the Connecticut Sun at the Mohegan Sun Arena at 7:00 PM EDT in an important game as the WNBA regular season winds down.
Both squads are battling for playoff position, with the top 8 teams in the league qualifying for the position with six games remaining.
WNBA Performance Recap
Phoenix (13-17) enters the game in seventh place as the Mercury sit one-half game back of sixth-place Dallas and a half-game ahead of Los Angeles for the final playoff berth. They are just one-and-a-half games in front of the teams that sit No.9-11 in the standings.
Connecticut, one of five teams to clinch a playoff spot, is third in the league at 20-10. The Sun are only two games behind league-leading Chicago, although they are only one-and-a-half games ahead of Seattle and Washington for the all-important fourth seed.
This is the second of three games this season between Phoenix and Connecticut. The Sun defeated the Mercury 92-88 behind Jonquel Jones’ 24 points nearly two months ago. The teams will tangle again in Uncasville (CT) on Thursday.
WNBA Scoreboard Record
Phoenix saw its two-game winning streak end with a humbling 89-69 loss at New York to start the road trip on Sunday.
Sophie Cunningham continued her strong play by tossing in a team-high 21 points though the Mercury shot just 37.5% from the field and 24% from the 3-point line.
Connecticut Winning Streak
Meanwhile, Connecticut had its four-game winning streak snapped with a 95-92 overtime loss to Chicago on Sunday.
DeWanna Bonner (23 points) and Alyssa Thomas (22) combined for 45 points and were among five Sun players to score in double-figures.
However, the Sun’s defense couldn’t get key stops down the stretch as they allowed the Sky to score the final nine points in overtime and shoot over 55% from the field for the game.
Mercury vs. Sun Betting Analysis
Phoenix has split its six games since the all-star break and are 5-5 in their last 10. Phoenix uses a guard-dominated lineup though they don’t shoot the ball that well.
The Mercury rank in the middle of the league in offensive efficiency, averaging 82.9 points on 43.3% shooting from the field and a league-worst 32.6% from beyond the arc.
Phoenix has struggled on the defensive end all season long. The Mercury are severely undersized, don’t have anyone to protect the rim, and they don’t get out to shooters on the perimeter.
Most Points in the League
The Mercury allow the 10th most points in the league at 85.3 a game on 44.6% shooting from the floor and 37.1% from the 3-point line.
Taurasi became the first player in WNBA history to hit the 30-point mark at 40-years-old age – when she poured in 30 points on 7 of 18 shooting from the field, 5 of 13 from deep, and 11 of 12 from the charity stripe against the Sparks on Thursday.
Joining Michael Jordan and Dirk Nowitzki as the only players to accomplish the feat in WNBA/NBA history.
It marked Taurasi’s 27th career game of at least 30 points and five treys. She has scored in double-figures in a season-high eight straight games and averages 18.1 points along with 3.3 trifectas since her birthday on June 11,
Connecticut, 7-3 in its last ten games, is one of just two teams that rank in the top 5 in both offensive and defensive efficiency.
The Sun also ranks second in the league in scoring differential (+ 6.6), averaging 85.1 points on 46% shooting from the field and 35.4% from beyond the arc.
They surrender 78.5 points a contest while their opponents shoot 44% from the field and 32.8% from deep.
Sun Big Team Up
Connecticut is a big team up front though they are not the deepest, especially in the backcourt with Bria Hartley and Jasmine Thomas out with injuries.
Still, the Sun receives contributions from everyone who sees significant minutes, with seven players averaging at least:
- six points
- two rebounds
- one assist per game
Forwards Jonquel Jones (14.5 PPG, 8.5 RPG) and Thomas (13.5 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 6.1 APG) lead the way.
WNBA Injury Report
Diamond DeShields has missed the past four games for the Mercury due to a hip injury and is questionable for Tuesday’s contest.
Phoenix continues to be without Brittney Griner and Kia Nurse (ACL). Hartley, who suffered a torn ACL on July 27, and Thomas (ACL) are out for the remainder of the year.
Mercury vs. Sun Betting Preview
The Mercury vs. Sun betting odds are currently unavailable. Several sites have updated WNBA odds and basketball betting information.
Phoenix is 13-16-1 ATS, and 16 of their 30 contests have gone over the point total this season. Meanwhile, Connecticut is 15-15 ATS, with 16 of their 30 games going over the point total.
Sun Series Winning Streak
The Sun has won four straight in the series and are 8-2 (6-4 ATS) against the Mercury over their last ten meetings. However, the favorite is 5-5 ATS over these previous ten contests, while the under has hit six of those games.
Mercury vs. Sun Betting Prediction
Connecticut is the superior team defensively, and the Sun have a considerable advantage on the interior. The Sun also does a good job at defending the 3-point line, which will be critical in this one, with the Mercury relying so heavily on that area since the all-star break.
The Sun should be able to dominate on the glass once again, as they did in the first game against Mercury (+13), as Phoenix is one of the worst rebounding teams on both ends of the court. Plus, the Mercury have really struggled on the road (4-12, -7.1 point differential).
Who to Bet On?
It makes it a little tricky with no odds out, but the Sun should win this one pretty handily. Put $100 in Connecticut on the moneyline.
Also, bettors can sprinkle some cash on Sun to cover if they are favored by less than 10 points. An over bet is also pretty safe here if the total is 164 points or under.
WNBA Pick: Sun