Sun-Sky Preview


Elena Delle Donne's WNBA debut couldn't have gone much better.

Anne Donovan's first game as Connecticut Sun coach also was a success.

Delle Donne's Chicago Sky and the visiting Sun both try to build on season-opening wins Friday night.

Selected second overall in this year's draft, Delle Donne got the best of No. 1 pick Brittney Griner as Chicago cruised to a 102-80 win at Phoenix on Monday. The former University of Delaware standout had 22 points, eight rebounds and four blocks for the Sky (1-0), who took a 56-32 lead into halftime and never looked back.

Chicago shot 50.7 percent and outrebounded the Mercury 41-29.

"Today was absolutely amazing," said Delle Donne, whose scoring debut was sixth-best in league history. "We came here to get a win and that's what we're leaving with."

The Sun (1-0) impressed in their first game, too, beating New York 81-69 on Saturday. Kara Lawson had 23 points, including 11 straight during one stretch, and reigning league MVP Tina Charles added 19 and 13 rebounds.

Connecticut held the Liberty to 38.0 percent from the floor and outscored them 20-8 in transition. After allowing 42 points in the first half, the Sun surrendered 27 over the last two quarters.

The game marked Donovan's return to the league, having spent the previous three years at Seton Hall before replacing longtime Connecticut coach Mike Thibault.

"It feels great to get the first one," said Donovan, coaching her fifth WNBA team. "I was really pleased with our effort in the second half defensively."

The Sun now try to keep things going against the Sky, having won five of six in the series with Charles averaging 20.8 points and 11.2 boards. Connecticut also has taken three straight at Chicago, but winning there Friday might prove more difficult.

Besides trying to contain Delle Donne, Connecticut could have a hard time slowing down Epiphanny Prince, who scored a game-high 26 while shooting 6 of 9 from 3-point range Monday. Fellow guard Courtney Vandersloot also came up big with 14 points.

"It was nice to see everybody come together and play very well," Prince said. "The passes went very well, we had assists, we had rebounds, we just clicked on everything."

Chicago, which opened 7-1 only to finish 14-20 last year, is still seeking the first playoff appearance in franchise history. If their first game is any indication, the Sky could be in for a special season.

"I think it's a really good starting point for our team," coach Pokey Chatman said.

The Sky have dropped two of their last three home openers. The Sun won five of their final seven road contests last year.

These teams don't meet again until July 12 in Connecticut.