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Mystics-Sky Preview

AP - Sports

The Chicago Sky and Washington Mystics are two struggling Eastern Conference clubs hoping to turn their fortunes around.

Playing short-handed certainly isn't making things any easier for the Sky.

Banged-up Chicago tries to avoid a third straight loss Wednesday when it hosts a Washington team which has dropped its last three.

The Sky (8-10) have lost nine of 12, including the last two on a five-game trip. Chicago - which ranks near the bottom of the league allowing 82.1 points per game - let Seattle shoot 50.9 percent in Saturday's 80-73 loss, two days after the Storm scored a season-low 56 in a loss to Los Angeles.

"Until we can marry our head with our heart, then get that to our legs, we're going to keep coming up short," coach Pokey Chatman said. "We've got to get stops, and that's something we've not been able to do all year, and that's about guts."

Jessica Breland scored 20 and Sylvia Fowles added a season-high 19 along with 11 rebounds in her fifth game. She missed the first 13 contests following arthroscopic hip surgery.

However, Elena Delle Donne has only played in one of the team's last 10 games as she continues to be troubled by flare-ups of her Lyme disease. The reigning rookie of the year hasn't appeared since scoring 13 in a season-low 17 minutes in a 79-69 loss at Connecticut on June 25.

Chicago is also without Courtney Vandersloot, who leads the league with 6.4 assists per game. She has missed three games with a sprained left knee and is expected to be sidelined at least another month.

The Mystics (7-12), losers of seven of nine, dropped the opener of a five-game trip, an 86-73 setback to Atlanta on Saturday, to fall to 1-5 in their last six road games.

Washington, which was tied at 40 at halftime, was outscored 26-12 in the paint in the second half and was 11 for 29 from the field over the final 20 minutes, missing eight of its last nine shots.

"Right now, it's no one thing," coach Mike Thibault said. "It's missing a layup, fouling at the other end, missing a block-out on a rebound. All of a sudden it snowballs."

Emma Meesseman continues to be a bright spot, scoring 18. The second-year center out of Belgium is averaging 15.8 points on 62.2 percent shooting over her last four games.

She tallied 16 points and 11 rebounds for her first career double-double in a 79-68 home win over Chicago on June 13. Delle Donne, Fowles and Breland didn't play for the Sky, who shot 38.2 percent and were outscored 25-15 in the final quarter.

"They're a great team, with Delle Donne, without Delle Donne," said Ivory Latta, whose 10.9 points per game marks her lowest average since she averaged 6.1 in 2009. "They've got some pretty good pieces But we're a good team as well, we've just got to finish games."

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