Sky-Dream Preview


The Chicago Sky's strong start to the season came to a crashing halt the last time they took the court, and they'll look to get back on track Saturday night when they visit an Atlanta Dream club they've dominated recently.

Chicago entered Friday night's home matchup against Los Angeles with one loss in its first six games, 75-72 to defending WNBA champion Minnesota on May 26, before getting thoroughly outplayed by the Sparks.

The Sky (5-2) allowed Los Angeles to shoot 61.9 percent and score 61 points in the first half, while Elena Delle Donne had half of Chicago's 44 points before the break.

It was more of the same in the final two quarters as the Sparks cruised to a 102-88 victory. Chicago, which played for the first time in a week, had not allowed 100 points in a regulation game since Aug. 18, 2009.

The Sky were holding opponents to 72.3 points per game and 39.0 percent shooting.

"You would think defensively you're rested a little bit," coach Pokey Chatman said. "But I like to give credit to the opponent when they take advantage of a situation."

Delle Donne finished with a career-high 33 points and 14 rebounds, making all 16 of her free-throw attempts in her first game since being named Eastern Conference player of the month for May.

The Sky have won four in a row in this series, including 87-73 at home on May 24. Delle Donne led five Chicago players in double figures with 27 points, while Erika de Souza and Shoni Schimmel combined to score 35 for the Dream.

That loss was the first for defending conference champion Atlanta in 2014, and it started a 1-3 stretch before the Dream bounced back Tuesday with a strong offensive performance.

Atlanta (4-3) set season highs in points and field-goal percentage (53.4) in a 93-85 home victory over the Sparks. De Souza scored 20 of her career high-tying 27 points in the final 20 minutes and Sancho Lyttle added 18 for the Dream, who also established a season best with 68 points in the paint.

"Sometimes, you hit that brick wall, but we just kept fighting," said de Souza, who also grabbed 11 rebounds. "When you hit that wall, you just have to try and climb over it. I feel like we didn't get down on ourselves."

Atlanta guard Angel McCoughtry missed last month's meeting with a shoulder injury. She averaged 18.5 points in her first two games back but has totaled 21 and shot 7 for 25 in the last two.