6 p.m. vs. Phoenix in Bradenton, Fla. • ESPN2
Third meeting the most critical
Lynx update: The Lynx got a good look at Phoenix’s small-ball attack Aug. 30 when the Mercury beat them 83-79 to split the season series. C Sylvia Fowles is back in the lineup for the first time in weeks; she is listed as questionable because of a calf injury. G Rachel Banham’s 29 points in Saturday’s regular-season finale were the most by a Lynx player in her first start with the team. F Napheesa Collier averaged 16.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 3.5 steals in two games vs. Phoenix this season. G Lexie Brown (concussion protocol) is out.
Phoenix update: It’s been all small ball for the Mercury since center Brittney Griner left the team. Her first missed game was Aug. 21, when the Mercury lost to the Lynx by 10. Since then, led by the dynamic backcourt of Diana Taurasi and Skylar Diggins-Smith, the Mercury has gone 8-2, including a one-point playoff victory over Washington on Tuesday. Since the loss to Minnesota, Diggins-Smith has averaged 21.3 points in 10 games while Taurasi has averaged 21.4. With Griner gone and guard Bria Hartley out for the season injured, C Kia Vaughn has played well, averaging 10.2 points and 5.0 rebounds as a starter. F Nia Coffey (foot) is out.