The Washington Mystics are one win away from wrapping up a second straight playoff berth, though victories haven't come easy lately.
The Mystics hope to break out of their late-season slump in time to clinch a postseason spot and will try to avoid their second road loss in six days to the last-place Connecticut Sun on Friday night.
Washington (15-17) has dropped two in a row and four of six following Wednesday's 72-69 home defeat to Chicago that dropped it into a tie for second place in the Eastern Conference.
The Mystics, however, can earn a playoff berth by winning one of their final two games. After facing the Sun - the only East team eliminated from playoff contention - they'll return home to face New York on Saturday.
Reserve Kara Lawson will likely miss both contests due to a sprained ankle, but leading rebounder Kia Vaughn should return Friday after being suspended one game for throwing an elbow at Connecticut's Chiney Ogwumike in Sunday's 89-81 double-overtime loss.
"It doesn't have to be pretty. It doesn't have to be great. We just need a win," said forward Monique Currie, who had 18 points in each of the last two games. "We're going to do whatever we can - except throw elbows. We don't want to have anybody suspended again."
The Mystics had won all three meetings with the Sun (12-20) this season before last weekend's defeat at Mohegan Sun Arena. Kelsey Griffin's follow shot at the end of regulation forced overtime and her 3-pointer late in the second overtime keyed the win for Connecticut (12-20), which hasn't played since that day.
Alex Bentley added 18 points and four steals, while Kelsey Bone had 15 points and 11 rebounds. Bentley and Bone have combined for 63 points in the last two meetings with the Mystics.
"Playing hard is not an issue for our team, and we have a competitive team," coach Anne Donovan said. "Getting a win against a team we have not had success against is good."
The Sun, though, could be missing All-Stars Ogwumike and Katie Douglas after both were unable to finish Sunday.
Ogwumike, the team's leading scorer (15.6) and rebounder (8.6), exited late in regulation due to nausea. She has been on medication for an abscessed tooth that forced her to miss the previous two games.
Douglas is less likely to play after departing in the second overtime due to back pain. She had lower lumbar microdiscectomy surgery last October.
Washington's Ivory Latta, the team's leading scorer at 12.7 points per game, has averaged 16.1 in her last nine. The All-Star guard has scored a combined 43 in the last two meetings with the Sun.