Lynx-Sky Preview

The Associated PressAugust 10, 2013

Coming off their first loss in over a month, Maya Moore and the WNBA-leading Minnesota Lynx have a very tough task in store.

In one of this season's biggest showdowns, the Lynx visit Elena Delle Donne and the Chicago Sky in a matchup of first-place teams Sunday.

The Lynx (17-4) had won 10 straight and 18 in a row at home before falling 79-75 to Washington on Thursday. Moore had 24 points while Lindsay Whalen and Seimone Augustus combined for 37, but Minnesota was outrebounded 44-24, including 14-7 on the offensive glass.

With center Janel McCarville sidelined with a concussion, backups Amber Harris and Devereaux Peters combined for zero points and five rebounds in 23 minutes.

"Disappointing to not just lose a game but to get destroyed on the glass, really disappointing," coach Cheryl Reeve said. "We had a player down in the post and we did a very, very poor job of filling the void.

"We've won 10 out of 11 games, we're a great team - but we were not that tonight."

The Lynx could have their hands full again versus Chicago (14-7), which is outrebounding opponents by a WNBA-best 4.9 boards per game. Minnesota, though, is second at plus-4.4.

The Sky suffered a home-and-home sweep at the hands of Indiana before bouncing back Friday with a 77-61 victory at Connecticut. Epiphanny Prince scored 23 points and Delle Donne added 19 and nine rebounds for Chicago, which held a 46-36 edge on the glass.

"Sometimes you're on, sometimes you're off," Sylvia Fowles, averaging a league-high 11.6 rebounds, said of the team's previous two games. "We definitely were hungry after those last two losses, so we tried to come in and be more focused tonight. Just go out there and do what we can do."

Seeking its first playoff appearance in franchise history, Chicago holds a slim lead over Atlanta in the East.

"We want to stay at the top of the conference," Prince said. "And we know that Atlanta is right behind us. We came out. We were focused. We had a game plan and we executed it."

The Sky, who are holding opponents to a WNBA-low 39.4 percent shooting, limited the Sun to 25 of 78 (32.1 percent) from the field.

"This (game) was more about us and what we needed to do, especially on the defensive end of the floor," coach Pokey Chatman said. "It's something that we need to become more consistent with, and I thought we were throughout every quarter. We were really active with our hands and got a lot of deflections."

Delle Donne, the No. 2 overall pick in this year's draft, leads the Sky with 17.9 points per game. Moore is averaging a team-high 17.2 points for Minnesota.

The Sky and Lynx split last season's two-game series, with each team winning at home. Prince led the way with 26 points in Chicago's 83-70 victory at Allstate Arena on Sept. 11.

Chicago is 8-2 at home this season, and Minnesota is a WNBA-best 7-3 on the road.