Preview: Before they start the 2016 season, the Lynx will commemorate their 2015 WNBA championship with a pregame ceremony to raise a banner and present players with their rings. They won’t have any time to dwell on the past, though, opening against their fiercest rival. The Lynx and the Mercury have combined to win six of the past nine WNBA titles. They are expected to battle for WNBA supremacy again this season with two star-studded rosters that bring out the best in each other.
Players to watch: Lynx forward Maya Moore was the WNBA’s second-leading scorer last season (20.6 points per game), with a season-high 40 against the Mercury in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. … Phoenix guard Diana Taurasi, No. 3 on the WNBA’s all-time scoring list (6,722 points), and forward Penny Taylor return after taking last season off. Taurasi played in Russia last winter and led the EuroLeague in scoring (20.8).
Numbers: The game will feature six of the 12 members of the U.S. team for the Rio Olympics, with the Lynx’s Sylvia Fowles, Seimone Augustus, Lindsay Whalen and Moore, and the Mercury’s Taurasi and Brittney Griner. … The Lynx are 21-11 against Phoenix at home. The all-time series is tied 33-33.