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Sky-Storm Preview

AP - Sports

The Seattle Storm already took advantage once this year when the Chicago Sky were missing leading scorer Elena Delle Donne.

Now the task figures to be even easier for the Western Conference's worst team.

The Sky will also travel to Seattle without the services of star point guard Courtney Vandersloot to play the Storm, who seek their first sweep of this series in six seasons Saturday night.

Seattle (7-12) won 80-76 at Chicago on June 10. Delle Donne missed the contest due to Lyme disease, and that's why she's currently out indefinitely.

The Storm realized they caught a major break.

"Defensively Delle Donne is a different kind of player so we would have had to give her a lot of attention," Seattle coach Brian Agler said.

The Sky (8-9) will play this rematch without Vandersloot, who grew up in the Seattle suburbs and starred in college across the state at Gonzaga. She will be sidelined at least six weeks due to a sprain in her left knee.

Vandersloot's spot in the starting lineup has been filled the last two games by rookie Jamierra Faulkner, who starred with a season-high 27 points on 9-of-11 shooting in Tuesday's 90-83 win at Los Angeles. One night later, Faulkner made 4 of 16 shots for 11 points in an 87-69 defeat at Phoenix.

It's been an up-and-down season for Sky guard Epiphanny Prince, who has totaled 26 points on 7-of-21 shooting in her last two games after she scored a season-high 30 in last Friday's 73-69 win at New York.

Prince scored 18 points in the first meeting with Seattle in her second game after she sat out the first seven to rest after returning to the United States from Russia.

Tanisha Wright and Sue Bird combined for 29 points and 11 assists in that contest as Seattle held off a late rally after building a 12-point halftime lead.

One factor in Chicago's favor this time is that center Sylvia Fowles will be available after she missed the first matchup with a hip injury. Fowles, however, may still be hampered by it since she is averaging career lows of 7.8 points and 5.5 rebounds in four games.

Seattle was missing top scorer Camille Little because of her grandfather's death in Thursday's 70-56 home loss to the Sparks. Her status for Saturday is unclear.

The Storm were held to their lowest point totals overall and at halftime, when they trailed 40-22.

"I wish we would have competed a little bit tougher against them," Agler said.

Wright and Bird combined for two points and five assists. Crystal Langhorne led Seattle with 19 points.

The Storm's last sweep of Chicago was in 2008. These teams have split their series each of the previous four years.

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