|Lynx-Sun meeting could be playoff preview|
Connecticut fans get a chance to pay tribute to former Sun Lindsay Whelan Friday night at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Thing is, they may get a chance to get to do it again in a matter of days.
Whelan, who announced her WNBA retirement earlier this week, and the Minnesota Lynx visit Uncasville, Conn., Friday night, but could find themselves coming back depending on what happens in the league's scrambled playoff picture.
The Sun, winners of seven of their last eight games, enter their final two games of the regular season tied for fourth place with the Los Angeles Sparks, who visit the Sun in the regular-season finale Sunday. The Sun (19-13) were ahead on a tiebreaker.
The Lynx (17-15) were in seventh place, a game behind sixth-place Phoenix. Minnesota, losers of two straight and five of the last seven, and hosts the Washington Mystics Sunday -- Whelan to be honored by the home fans.
The top two seeds in the standings get byes right through to the semifinals. Nos 3 and 4 automatically advance to the second round, where they will meet the winners of the 5/8 and 6/7 games.
Whelan, a four-time league champion, played the first six years of her WNBA career with the Sun. She lost in two WNBA finals with the Sun before getting traded back to her home state.
"I mean this: I'll bet she could run for governor and be successful," Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. "To be the state's favorite daughter, one of the all-time greatest sports figures in the history of the state ... she transcends the male/female thing. Lindsay, bar none, male or female, is one of the best basketball players ever (from Minnesota). Maybe the best. That's pretty incredible. And doing all that, she's become this iconic figure."
The Sun are finishing the season with a four-game homestand and are coming off an 96-76 victory over the Dallas Wings Tuesday night.
"We found our tempo," Sun coach Curt Miller said after Tuesday's win. "We didn't play as fast as we do some nights, but we found a very successful tempo that was still attacking, but there was an understanding of dissecting what Dallas was trying to do."
Jonquel Jones, coming off a 15-point, 17-rebound game in the homestand opener, scored 27 points and grabbed 10 boards off the bench in the latest victory.
She was part of a group effort against WNBA scoring leader Liz Cambage, who returned from a neck injury with 15 points and 13 rebounds but was hampered by early fouls.
Chiney Ogwumike, the Sun's other inside presence, had 13 points and five rebounds and the Sun were able to wear Cambage down as she clearly wasn't 100 percent.
Said Jones: "Whenever you somebody like (Cambage), you definitely want to bring your 'A' game. She challenges you for sure with her length but I can't take all the credit. Our team did a great job in general and our coaches did a great job preparing us and making sure we were in the right positions. Overall, it was a team effort."
The Sun goes for a three-game series sweep of the Lynx.