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What to watch for in each WNBA game this weekend

Diana Taurasi and Phoenix Mercury will face Sue Bird and the Seattle Storm again Saturday. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The WNBA regular season heats up as the league settles in after its opening week.

Dallas Wings vs. Washington Mystics

Friday at 7 p.m. ET on NBC Sports app

Fresh off their win over the Las Vegas Aces, the Mystics host the Wings. The squad will hope to keep its perfect 3-0 start to the season going, led by Elena Delle Donne and Myisha Hines-Allen, while Natasha Cloud is sidelined in the healthy and safety protocols.

The Wings’ offense was quiet in their season opener against the Atlanta Dream, with Arike Ogunbowale held to single digits. Dallas will look to get Ogunbowale and others involved as the team aims to turn its offense around.

Las Vegas Aces vs. Atlanta Dream

Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET on Bally Sports Southeast

It’s been all things Rhyne Howard for the Atlanta Dream as the No. 1 draft pick has propelled her team to a 2-0 start.  Howard and Atlanta will host a red-hot Aces side on Friday, putting the rookie to the test.

Indiana Fever vs. New York Liberty

Friday at 8 p.m. ET on Twitter, YES, Indiana Fever Facebook page

The Liberty will host the Fever at the Barclays Center in a Commissioner’s Cup fixture.

Didi Richards has been ruled as probable for the matchup in what would be her 2022 debut with New York. Her side will need her as the Liberty is coming off a 33-point loss to the Chicago Sky and needs to put on a solid performance against an exciting, young Fever squad led by rookie Destanni Henderson.

Phoenix Mercury vs. Seattle Storm

Saturday at 3 p.m. ET on ABC

Seattle will be looking for redemption on Saturday after the Mercury defeated the Storm 97-77 on Wednesday night.

The Storm was without Breanna Stewart due to health and safety protocols and struggled to contain Tina Charles and Skylar Diggins, who notched 22 points and 19 points, respectively.

Saturday will be the second of three regular-season meetings between longtime rivals and friends Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi in what is speculated to be Bird’s last WNBA season.

Los Angeles Sparks vs. Connecticut Sun

Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on Facebook

The Sparks will travel east to take on the Connecticut Sun at Mohegan Sun Arena. The Sun will aim to notch their first win of the season after falling in their opener to the Liberty.

Los Angeles, however, will be a formidable opponent with Liz Cambage providing an interesting counter to Connecticut forward Jonquel Jones.

Chicago Sky vs. Minnesota Lynx

Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on NBA TV

Minnesota will host reigning WNBA champion Chicago after registering three straight losses to start the season. The Lynx have endured a considerable amount of roster shifts, with the team signing guard Moriah Jefferson ahead of Saturday’s game.

The Sky enter their Minnesota matchup on the heels of a commanding 33-point victory over the Liberty.

Dallas Wings vs. New York Liberty

Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on YES Network app, Bally Sports Southwest Extra

The Wings and the Liberty have been cold in their previous games, so both teams will be looking to get their offenses going.

In Dallas’ regular-season opener, Marina Mabrey and Allisha Gray scored in the double figures, with Isabella Harrison and Arike Ogunbowale held to six and eight points, respectively.

New York shot 33.3 percent from the field and 13.3 percent from beyond the arc in Wednesday’s loss to the Sky.

Indiana Fever vs. Atlanta Dream

Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on Amazon Prime

Sunday’s Commissioner’s Cup contest between Indiana and Atlanta will be a battle of the rookies.

Rhyne Howard has been lighting up the court for the Dream, while Destanni Henderson has led the Fever like a seasoned guard in her first season with the team.

Midge Purce-Backed Docuseries ‘The Offseason’ to Drop This Summer

cast of the offseason nwsl reality series
'The Offseason' follows a group of NWSL stars as they prepare for preseason play. (The Offseason)

The Offseason, a reality series created by Gotham and USWNT star Midge Purce, has officially confirmed its streaming debut, Purce announced in Cannes on Tuesday.

The six-episode, half-hour docuseries will stream this summer on X, though a specific premiere date hasn't yet been set.

The Offseason was filmed in Miami, two weeks before the NWSL preseason. It's a crucial time for athletes, a period where they prepare to join their respective teams and compete for both starting and roster spots. Production designed all the facilities, bringing in top-tier trainers, masseuses, chefs, and gym equipment to create a high-level training environment, ensuring the players were in peak condition, per the show's release. Throughout filming, athletes lived together in one house — a reality TV conceit rife for entertainment.

The series follows a number of NWSL stars, including Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Maria Sanchez (Houston Dash), Lo’eau LaBonta (Kansas City Current), Michelle Alozie (Houston Dash), Taylor Smith (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Nikki Stanton (OL Reign), Ally Watt (Orlando Pride), Taryn Torres (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Paige Nielsen (Angel City FC), and Ify Onumonu (Utah Royals).

"We wanted to create a series that truly captures the essence of what it means to be a professional athlete," said Purce. "This series has always been about more than just sports — it's about the human experience behind the athlete, as well."

The show promises a behind-the-scenes look at professional women's sports, teasing major life decisions, on-field tensions, and players taking stock of the environments they'll be entering once their preseason trip is over. The series delves into the real-life challenges faced by the athletes, including club trades, contract negotiations, burnout, and the relentless pressure from outsiders commenting on the players' personal lives.

The Offseason's official trailer, released on Tuesday, shows snippets of Hubly contemplating retirement, Sanchez joining the group after signing a high-profile contract, and a healthy amount of banter about on-field achievements.

The spirit of the series is reflected in its producers: Box To Box Films is known for their sports content (Drive to Survive, Break Point, Full Swing), whereas 32 Flavors is the creative force behind Vanderpump Rules and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. The series was funded by Seven Seven Six, and executive produced by Purce.

Lilia Vu adds Meijer LPGA Classic to tour wins record

Lilia Vu won in her first tournament in two months. (Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Lilia Vu won her fifth LPGA Tour event on Sunday, taking home the Meijer LPGA Classic title in her first tournament since March. 

The world No. 2 had been sidelined with a back injury, but returned with a vengeance. She began the day eight shots back of leader Grace Kim, and survived a three-hole playoff against Kim and former champion Lexi Thompson to take the title. 

“I think this is the most meaningful win,” said Vu, “because there was a time two months ago where I was just crying on the range not being sure if I would ever play a tournament again without pain.”

A two-time major champion, Vu hadn’t before won the Meijer LPGA Classic, but a birdie on the third playoff hole helped secure it. She’s now 2-for-3 in LPGA Tour playoffs. 

She said on Sunday that being unable to defend her title at the Chevron Championship was the “breaking point” in her season.

“Not being able to compete there really killed me,” she said. “I feel like I thought I was taking the steps in the right direction, but I’m glad that I was able to take a couple months off and reevaluate my body, let it recover, do what I needed to do to get back out here again.

“And we did the right thing and took two months off. I think it hurt me not to play competitive golf because I literally live for competitive golf, but we did the right thing and that’s why I’m here today.”

Top tennis players pull out of Olympics citing health reasons

Aryna Sabalenka will not play in the Olympics. (Photo by ALAIN JOCARD/AFP via Getty Images)

Ons Jabeur and Aryna Sabalenka joined a growing list of tennis stars opting out of the Olympics on Monday.

Sabalenka, the reigning Australian Open champion and world No. 3, told reporters in Berlin that she was looking after her health while citing WTA tournament participation requirements. The Belarusian had struggled with a stomach bug during the French Open, where she lost in the semifinals of a major for the first time since 2022. 

“Especially with all the struggles I was having last month, I feel like I need to take care of my health. … It’s too much with the scheduling,” Sabalenka said. “It’s just too much. I made the decision to take care of my health.”

Similarly, Jabeur cited the health risks that come with the change of surface. The world No. 10 has been battling knee injuries this season, and lost in the French Open quarterfinals to Coco Gauff. 

Players will spend the next few weeks playing on grass in the lead-up to Wimbledon, while the Olympics will be played at Roland-Garros and be held on clay. 

“After consulting with my medical team regarding attending the Olympics in Paris, we have decided that the quick change of surface and the body’s adaptation required would put my knee at risk and jeopardize the rest of my season,” Jabeur posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Unfortunately, I will not be able to participate in the 2024 Paris Olympics. I have always loved representing my country in any competition, However, I must listen to my body and follow my medical team’s advice.”

The two join Emma Raducanu in opting out of the Olympics. Raducanu – who has dealt with a number of injuries since her US Open win in 2021 – cited the changing surface as “not worth the risk.”

Jaedyn Shaw Breaks NWSL Record for Most Goals Scored as a Teenager

Jaedyn Shaw of the san diego wave
Jaedyn Shaw is now holds the record for most NWSL goals as a teenager. (Julia Kapros-USA TODAY Sports)

Jaedyn Shaw continues to make NWSL history, surpassing Trinity Rodman for the most NWSL goals by a teenager on Saturday. 

She did it in a game against Rodman's Washington Spirit in the 20th minute of the 1-1 draw. It brings her total to 13 league goals, after making her NWSL debut at 17 years old in July 2022. 

The goal is her third this season. Shaw currently leads Wave alongside Makenzy Doniak. 

Shaw has also been a member of the USWNT, alongside Rodman, netting seven goals over 14 national team appearances. If she gets called up to this summer’s Olympics under Emma Hayes, it will mark her first official tournament with the USWNT.

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