Storm-Sky Preview


With center Sylvia Fowles uncertain to play, the Chicago Sky may have to rely on their other two stars if they hope to continue their dominance at home.

The soaring Sky will try for the best home start in franchise history with their sixth straight win Tuesday night against the struggling Seattle Storm.

While she remained optimistic about her availability, Fowles might have to sit against Seattle after leaving late in the first half of Saturday's 94-82 home win over Los Angeles with a sprained ankle.

Fowles, who had 17 points and five boards in the first half, returned to the bench midway through the third quarter on crutches and with her ankle in a splint.

"Deep down inside I know I'll be OK,'' said Fowles, the team's third-leading scorer at 13.9 points per game and the league's top rebounder at 12.2 per contest.

If she's able to play, Fowles should have a big advantage against a Seattle team that ranks last in the WNBA with 28.8 rebounds per game and has the third-worst differential (minus-3.7).

Epiphanny Prince and Elena Delle Donne are certainly capable of carrying the scoring load. Prince had 21 points against the Sparks and Delle Donne 20 to help the Sky (7-3) match the 2009 club's franchise-best start at home.

Only one of Chicago's five home victories has been by fewer than 11 points, and it's averaged 86.2 points on its own floor as opposed to 78.0 on the road.

The Sky trail only WNBA-best Atlanta for the Eastern Conference's best record.

They should have a good chance to continue their excellent offensive production against a Seattle team that's tied for the league's worst field-goal defense at 47.1 percent.

The Storm (4-6) have been even worse offensively during their three-game losing streak, averaging 65.0 points on 38.5 percent shooting - including 19.6 percent from 3-point range.

Reserve Shekinna Stricklen led Seattle with 11 points in a 71-63 loss at Indiana on Sunday.

"Overall we hustled pretty well and moved the ball,'' Stricklen said. "We got killed on second-chance points. They outrebounded us. We got good shots, they just didn't fall.''

Teammate Tina Thompson hasn't been getting her shots to fall lately. Thompson, who is retiring at the end of the season, leads the Storm with 12.7 points per game but has totaled 15 on 4-of-23 shooting in her last three games.

The Storm have dropped their last four trips to Chicago, including a 74-58 loss June 13, 2012, as Fowles (16 points, 15 rebounds) dominated the paint to give the Sky a 44-21 rebounding edge.

Fowles missed Chicago's Sept. 18 visit to Seattle with a leg injury, and the Storm had a 42-25 edge on the glass in a 75-60 win.