Sky-Shock Preview


Even despite the absence of Elena Delle-Donne, the Chicago Sky appear to be turning things around.

The Tulsa Shock continue to slide further out of the playoff picture.

Chicago aims for a third straight win for the first time in two months Sunday when it visits Tulsa.

The Sky (10-14) have won two in a row after dropping nine of their previous 11, most recently taking down the Eastern Conference's top team with a 79-75 win at Atlanta on Friday.

Delle Donne, the team's leading scorer with 21.2 points per game, was sidelined again - the 15th time she sat out in the last 16 games due to chronic flare ups of her Lyme disease. She doesn't appear likely to play Sunday.

Chicago, which led by 14 at halftime Friday, held on despite a 19-2 run in the fourth quarter by Atlanta.

"We coughed it up at crucial times, but we stuck together," coach Pokey Chatman said. "It was nice to pull it out against a very good Atlanta team."

The Sky haven't won three consecutive games since a four-game winning streak to open the season.

Epiphanny Prince scored a game-high 21 Friday and added seven assists. She made her only 3-point attempt of the game with 4:36 remaining.

"(Epiphanny) is a fifth-year player, someone we trust, and it was nice to see here step up and take that shot, and then get the friendly roll as if we were at home," Chatman said.

Sylvia Fowles also had 12 points and 12 rebounds for her seventh straight double-double.

The Shock (8-17) own the league's worst record, have dropped seven of eight and are allowing an average of 90.3 points over their last six. Opponents are scoring a league-high 84.8 points per game against them on the season.

Even though their struggling defense limited Washington to one fourth-quarter field goal Friday, they still suffered an 82-77 loss.

It marked Tulsa's 10th loss by five points or fewer.

"There are no moral victories on this team, but we're not getting blown out," said Skylar Diggins, who ranks second in the WNBA with 21.4 points per game. "We just got to be professionals, try to get better and get ready for the next opponent."

Tulsa failed to convert a second-chance field goal in the final period despite 10 offensive rebounds.

"We had four or five rebounds there at the end to maybe put us up one or so," coach Fred Williams said.

The Shock won 105-99 in overtime at Chicago on June 22 with Diggins tallying a then-career high 33 points and six steals. Neither Delle Donne nor Fowles played for Chicago. Jessica Breland led the Sky with 26 points on 12-of-16 shooting and Prince scored 24.