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WNBA’s week ahead: Shakira Austin vs. Rhyne Howard 2.0

(Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images)

Week 3 of the WNBA season is here, with some exciting matchups in the week ahead.

Three storylines to watch

Can Liz Cambage and the Sparks upend the Las Vegas Aces?

Liz Cambage’s first game against her former team comes Monday as the Aces ride a three-game winning streak. The team is one win away from winning all four games on its homestand after a 100-80 victory over Phoenix.

Cambage is averaging 16.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocks through the Sparks’ first six games. But the team has won two and lost four, despite Cambage scoring a season-high 25 points, eight rebounds and three assists against Seattle on Friday.

The Aces, meanwhile, set a franchise record for points in a quarter Saturday with 38 points in the third – also the high water mark for the WNBA this season.

Jackie Young continues to be solid for the Aces, dropping 20 points in the win alongside Kelsey Plum, who had 24 points. They’ll look to their heavy hitters once again as they attempt to win their fourth game in a row.

Round 2: Shakira Austin vs. Rhyne Howard

The Atlanta Dream and the Washington Mystics will face off once again Tuesday after the Mystics took the first game 78-73 on Friday.

That game marked the first meeting between rookies Shakira Austin and Rhyne Howard. Howard finished with 21 points, four assists, three rebounds and two steals, while Austin had 10 points, seven rebounds, two assists and three steals.

Austin earned her first start alongside Elena Delle Donne on Sunday against Chicago, showing up and showing out in the game’s first half. She finished with 14 points, five rebounds, one block and one steal in Washington’s 82-73 loss.

The Mystics currently sit one game ahead of the Dream in the standings, making Tuesday’s contest all the more important.

Can the Connecticut Sun continue their winning ways against Dallas?

To no one’s surprise, the Connecticut Sun are off to a hot start in the season, having won their last four since dropping the season opener.

The Wings are right behind them, having won their last two games. Arike Ogunbowale leads the way with 19.7 points per game through six games. Marina Mabrey has been averaging 15.8 points and 4.3 rebounds.

Connecticut is led by Alyssa Thomas with 19 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.8 steals, while reigning league MVP Jonquel Jones is averaging 15.2 points and 8.4 rebounds.

The two teams will face off twice this week, on Tuesday and again on Thursday.

Week 3 Schedule

  • Los Angeles Sparks vs. Las Vegas Aces, Monday at 10 p.m. ET
  • Dallas Wings vs. Connecticut Sun, Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET
  • Atlanta Dream vs. Washington Mystics, Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET
  • Indiana Fever vs. Chicago Sky, Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET
  • New York Liberty vs. Minnesota Lynx, Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET
  • Phoenix Mercury vs. Los Angeles Sparks, Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. ET
  • Dallas Wings vs. Connecticut Sun, Thursday at 7 p.m. ET
  • Los Angeles Sparks vs. Indiana Fever, Friday at 7 p.m. ET
  • New York Liberty vs. Seattle Storm, Friday at 10 p.m. ET
  • Las Vegas Aces vs. Chicago Sky, Saturday at 3 p.m. ET
  • Washington Mystics vs. Connecticut Sun, Saturday at 7 p.m. ET
  • Phoenix Mercury vs. Atlanta Dream, Sunday at 12 p.m. ET
  • New York Liberty vs. Seattle Storm, Sunday at 6 p.m. ET
  • Los Angeles Sparks vs. Minnesota Lynx, Sunday at 7 p.m. ET