As the Seattle Storm aim for a season-high third straight victory, the team is looking into physical abuse allegations against leading scorer Natasha Howard.
With that cloud hanging over the club, the Storm visit the Minnesota Lynx on Wednesday night.
Howard, averaging team highs of 17.4 points and 8.2 rebounds, scored 14 in a 78-69 home victory over New York on Sunday. It was one day after her wife posted a video on Twitter dating back to March in which she was yelling at Howard about being threatened by the Storm's All-Star forward.
"We are in continued communication with the league, and their investigation is now in progress," the Storm said via a statement over the weekend.
While charges have not been filed, it would appear Howard will be ready to play Wednesday. It's apparently another moment of adversity for reigning WNBA champion Seattle (10-8), which has already dealt with coach Dan Hughes' cancer diagnosis and injuries to stars Breanna Stewart, Sue Bird and Jewell Loyd (15.8 ppg).
However, the Storm still have a winning record and will attempt to focus on a chance for a second win in three games with Minnesota (10-7) this season. Howard has totaled 30 points in two contests against the Lynx.
Minnesota leading scorer Odyssey Sims, who is also dealing with her own off-court issues while reportedly facing drunk driving charges from an incident earlier this season, had 15 points and Sylvia Fowles added 14 with 13 rebounds in Sunday's 75-62 home win over Phoenix. For Fowles, it was her league-record 158th double-double.
"The things that (Fowles) does, it's because she's so consistent with it that people don't acknowledge it as much as they should, but the passes that she catches, the things she can do, defensively, she can guard guards, I mean she can guard guards on the perimeter," rookie teammate Napheesa Collier, who had 14 points with 11 rebounds versus Phoenix, told the Lynx's official website.
Fowles has 23 points and 18 rebounds in the two games with Seattle this season. Sims, meanwhile, totaled 20 points in those two contests.
"It's (Sims) and Syl that sort of make our offense go," Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve said.
Crystal Langhorne scored a team-high 19 points off the bench for Seattle against the Liberty.