TOP OF THE TOWN – If you are in Las Vegas to play poker on the Strip four aces would be heaven. That’s what the Seattle Storm will see Sunday, but it won’t be heaven. The Storm will face the Las Vegas Aces, winners of the WNBA Western Conference (26-10) and three times this season a winner over the Storm in the regular season as the two teams square off in the WNBA semifinals in the best of three games. The first game is Sunday at 1 p.m. in Las Vegas and the second game is set for Wednesday (Aug. 31) also for Vegas. The third if necessary game will be held at Climate Pledge Arena on Wednesday (Sept. 7). The Storm finished second to the Aces in the Western Conference with a 22-14 record, which includes a 109-100 lost to the Aces in the last game of the regular season. It appears, though, the Storm have found their game. They have averaged 98 points in their last four games. So this game Sunday could be a donnybrook. If the Storm have a weakness it’s their inside game, rebounding and scoring although Tina Charles has given them a lift since being signed as a free agent late in the season. It will be quiet the matchup with Vegas pitting former Washington Husky Kelsey Plum, Chelsea Gray, Jackie Young, Kiah Stokes and A’ja Wilson against Sue Bird, Brenna Stewart, Jewell Lloyd, Gabby Williams and Charles.  Plum averaged 20.2 points during the regular season and may give the Storm fits. She and Wilson, who was the league’s MVP last season, averages 18.3 points with 9.3 rebounds and three assists. Gray averages 11.1 points. It will likely be a shoot-out and the Aces are favored. But the Storm have found their footing and despite Vegas holding all the Aces they could win. It will be interesting for sure. As for the Seattle Mariners they were in good shape going into a three-game series against the woeful Oakland Athletics and let good fortune slip through their gloves. After winning the first game of a three-game series 10-2, the Mariners looked like the Mariners of  old and lost 4-3 in 10 innings and 5-3 to the Athletics, who has the second worst record in all of baseball (45-77) to the Washington Nationals (41-82). And guess who arrives at T-Mobile Park for games Tuesday and Wednesday? Yep, the Nationals. If the Mariners are still stumbling about as they were in the last two games in Oakland, maybe a team that not been in the playoffs since 2001 may fall back out of the Wild Card race. Mariner fans who have been disappointed for so long are expecting the worst and hoping for the best. We will see. That’s it for today. Stay safe.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

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