Sky-Lynx Preview

The Associated Press

The Minnesota Lynx just survived a close call to keep their winning streak alive as they continue to fight for the top spot in the Western Conference.

A showdown looms against the team it's chasing for first place, but Minnesota doesn't plan on looking past a Chicago Sky team that has seemed invigorated by the return of Elena Delle Donne.

The Lynx shoot for an 11th consecutive victory Thursday night as the visiting Sky look to win a fourth straight since getting Delle Donne back.

Minnesota (23-6) trails first-place Phoenix by 1 1/2 games in the West, and the clubs will meet for the final time in the regular season Saturday in Arizona.

The Lynx, though, may be in for another tough test prior to that matchup after having to rally from an early 12-point deficit to beat Indiana 66-64 on the road Tuesday. Seimone Augustus tipped in Lindsay Whalen's miss as time expired and finished with 18 points.

Maya Moore added 15 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.

"Every game in the WNBA is a battle," Moore said. "On any night, any team can win. And it's fun to play that way. You have to bring your best every night."

Minnesota likely will have to be at its best against Chicago (13-16), which is part of a close race for one of the final three playoff spots in the East. The Sky went 4-8 as Delle Donne missed more than a month while recovering from Lyme Disease, but they've won all three games since she came back as the All-Star averaged 15.3 points in 16.0 minutes off the bench.

Delle Donne scored 15 in Tuesday's 82-66 victory over Connecticut, though it's unclear when she'll return to the starting lineup.

Epiphanny Prince finished with 20 points and six assists to help lead the Sky back from a five-point halftime deficit.

"Amazing," coach Pokey Chatman said of Prince. "She was snaking it and taking it to the basket and getting some (3-point plays). But she was so good defensively, things that maybe a fan wouldn't see."

Chicago ranks 10th in the 12-team league in points allowed per game at 79.1, but it has held teams to an average of 68.3 during its winning streak. It also shot 63 percent in the second half against the Sun.

"We were disruptive," Chatman said. "We married that (defense) to some offensive execution. The ball wasn't sticking as much. I thought early on we let the ball stick and didn't move it around as much."

Delle Donne scored 16 points against Minnesota on May 26, but Moore helped hold her to 7 of 19 from the field and Whalen scored 22 points as the Lynx won 75-72 in Chicago.

The Lynx have won the last three home meetings with the Sky.

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