Las Vegas (8-12) must make up ground in order to reassert itself into the WNBA's playoff picture. The Aces are coming off back-to-back, hard-earned victories that included an 84-80 win over the Sky and a 94-90 win over the Connecticut Sun.
Now comes the Aces' second meeting in less than a week against Chicago (7-12).
The Sky have withstood a streaky season that included a three-game winning streak, followed by a three-game losing streak, followed by an uplifting 77-63 win over the Minnesota Lynx on Saturday night. Much like Las Vegas, Chicago is on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoff picture and needs to close the season on a high note to have a shot at the postseason.
The win over the defending champion Lynx gave Sky players a boost of confidence as the season's second half continues.
"It just shows that when we put our minds to it and when we're focused and high energy that we can beat anyone in the league," Sky guard Allie Quigley told the Chicago Daily Herald. "We just have to use this as motivation to keep moving forward."
A tough test awaits as the Sky prepare to face top rookie A'ja Wilson and the Aces.
Wilson, 21, was this year's No. 1 overall pick out of South Carolina. She has averaged 21.0 points and 8.7 rebounds per game this season while also shutting down the paint with 1.7 blocks per contest. On Monday, the young center was named as the WNBA's Western Conference player of the week after averaging 29 points and nine rebounds in her last two contests.
Kayla McBride also has shined for the Aces this season. She scored 27 points in her team's most recent win over the Sun.
"Our two horses went off again," Aces coach Bill Laimbeer to the Las Vegas Review Journal after his team's most recent win. "There's no question where our bread is buttered."
Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot said she and her teammates must maintain their focus on passing to open teammates.
"I think the ball movement was better (in our last game), and we emphasized that going into the game," Vandersloot said to the Daily Herald. "If we continue to move it, drive it, kick it, we can get wide-open shots and we can knock down those shots."
Chicago is 5-5 at home. Las Vegas is 3-7 on the road.