6 p.m. at Connecticut • No TV, 106.1-FM
Playoff positioning on the line for Lynx
Preview: The Lynx have struggled against a deep Sun team, which has beaten Minnesota in three straight games dating back to last season. Both losses this season have been by double digits, with a 14-point loss in Connecticut early in the season and a 19-point loss at July 15 at Target Center that was the Lynx’s worst home loss since the 2010 season. The Lynx have now lost three straight at home for the first time since 2010. Minnesota is coming off a home loss to Chicago on Tuesday, one in which they were outscored 13-4 down the stretch in a 91-88 loss, the team’s second straight. Connecticut is locked with Los Angeles in a battle for the fourth seed in the league, which comes with a first-round playoff bye. The Sun has won seven of its past eight games; the Sun and Sparks meet in Connecticut on Sunday in the regular-season finale.
Playoff picture: It appears the Lynx are battling with Phoenix for the right to host a first-round, single-elimination playoff game Tuesday. Why? Because:
• With two games to go for every team in the league, the Lynx (17-15) are in seventh place. Teams five through eight play in the first round, with the No. 5 seed hosting No. 8 and No. 6 hosting No. 7. Phoenix (18-14) is sixth, one game ahead of the Lynx. But the Lynx hold the head-to-head tiebreaker. The Mercury hosts Atlanta on Friday and New York on Sunday. The Lynx play at Connecticut on Friday and host Washington on Sunday, a very difficult final two games against top-four teams.
• Minnesota does not hold the head-to-head tiebreaker with either Washington or Connecticut, which are currently tied with the third-best record, two games ahead of the Lynx. Nor do the Lynx hold the tiebreaker with Los Angeles, currently fifth, two games ahead of the Lynx.
• The Lynx cannot fall lower than seventh, as Dallas and Las Vegas, each 14-18, are three games behind the Lynx with two to go. The eighth and final playoff spot is still up for grabs. Dallas has lost nine straight, a stretch that has led the Wings to fire their coach. Dallas holds the tiebreaker with Las Vegas. The two teams meet in Dallas on Friday. Dallas finishes the season at Seattle; Las Vegas hosts Atlanta in the finale.
Players to watch: Lynx C Sylvia Fowles needs 22 rebounds over the final two games to pass Connecticut’s Jonquel Jones for most in a season in league history. G Seimone Augustus has scored in double figures in five straight games. The Sun has five players averaging in double figures, and enough depth that only one player, Alyssa Thomas, averages 30 minutes per game. F/C Chiney Ogwumike is averaging 14.4 points and 7.3 rebounds. G Courtney Williams is averaging 12.6 points and G Jasmine Thomas 12.5.
Numbers: The 54.8 percent Chicago shot while beating the Lynx on Tuesday was the best by a Lynx opponent this season.
Injuries: Lynx F Rebekkah Brunson (concussion) is doubtful. G Danielle Robinson (ankle surgery) is out. Connecticut reports no injuries.