After knocking off the top team in the Western Conference, the surging Connecticut Sun aim to take down the next-best team in the West - at least according to the standings.
Looking to maintain their spot atop the WNBA standings, the Sun try for a fifth consecutive victory while looking to halt the Los Angeles Sparks' 10-game home winning streak on Sunday.
The hottest team in the "W," at least in terms of consecutive victories, Connecticut (20-8) sits atop the league standings after rallying to win 89-85 over the Las Vegas Aces, who are tops in the West and third overall, on Friday while Washington lost to Chicago. Both the Sun and Mystics sport the same record, but Connecticut holds the tiebreaker after winning the season series between the two clubs.
On Friday, Alyssa Thomas had 27 points and Courtney Williams scored 24 as the Sun rallied from 11 down in the third quarter to win for the 11th time in 13 games.
"It's huge with positioning, we don't want to fall past the two spots," said Thomas, referring to the fact that the top two teams in the overall league standings get byes to the semifinals and avoid any single-elimination playoff contests.
"Our mindset since the beginning has been to make sure we're one or two," said Williams, who has totaled 42 points on 20-of-35 shooting in the last two games. "If we get to the semifinals and have a best-of-five, we're going to be a problem. So, that's what we're fighting for."
Connecticut split its first two 2019 games with Los Angeles (17-10), with the loss coming 77-70 on the road back on May 31.
At full strength for the first time all season, the Sparks are playing well at the right time - especially at home. Nneka Ogwumike had 17 points and five steals and sister Chiney scored 15 as Los Angeles clinched a playoff berth by rolling to a 98-65 home win over Indiana on Thursday.
L.A., which currently sits fourth in the WNBA standings and 2 ½-games back of the Sun, last won 11 in a row at home during a run that spanned the 2016 and '17 seasons. Following this contest, the Sparks play their final three road games of the regular season before finishing up with three at Staples Center.
"I thought (Thursday) the team was really focused," Sparks coach Derek Fisher said via the team's official Facebook page. "We wanted to make sure we continue to control our own destiny. That's something that's important to our group. And, we want to be taking advantage of every opportunity (at home)."
Nneka Ogwumike (16.7 points per game, 9.3 rebounds per game) has totaled 50 points and 25 rebounds in two games versus Connecticut this season.