In a season in which both teams have struggled, the Dallas Wings and Washington Mystics have a few things in common as the 2016 WNBA season winds down.
With pride on the line, both teams could impact the playoff race as a spoiler. Just ask the Los Angeles Sparks and the Minnesota Lynx, the teams tied for the best record at 23-5 in the league.
But on Friday, neither the Wings nor the Mystics played like teams that had just one win combined in their past 20 games.
Dallas, which has lost 10 straight games, put a scare into the Sparks on Friday when they jumped out to a 21-9 first-quarter lead. Odyssey Sims sparked the outburst and finished with a season high 26 points in a game that Washington eventually lost, 87-79.
Similarly, Washington, which is 1-9 over its past 10 games, had upset on its mind when the Mystics entered the fourth period on Friday with a 55-51 lead over the Lynx.
But like the Wings, the Mystics fell short and lost 75-69 to the Lynx.
So, there will be a lot of pride on the line when the Mystics and Wings collide at 4:30 p.m. EDT Sunday at College Park Center in Arlington, Texas.
Besides Sims, the Mystics will have to find a way to stop Dallas' Glory Johnson, who recorded her seventh double-double (16 points, 15 rebounds) of the season in the loss to the Sparks.
“Each day she gets better and gets in floor,” Wings coach Fred Williams told reporters after Sims' game. “I thought she got real physical for the first time in a few games.”
While the Wings will rely on Sims and Johnson, the Mystics one-two punch of Tayler Hill and Emma Meesseman are expected to carry Washington.
Both average 15.3 points per game; Meesseman leads the team at 5.6 rebounds per game.
The two teams have met twice this season, splitting the two games.
On May 18, Sims scored 22 points in an 87-77 win. Karima Christmas chipped in with a double-double.
Meesseman and Hill combined for 39 points but the Mystics shot a woeful 16.7 percent from beyond the arc in the loss.
On June 8, Washington gained some revenge with an 87-79 behind Meesseman's 23 points.
Sims was held to five points in that game.