While the Dallas Wings have their sights set on a postseason appearance, the Chicago Sky are not playing like a playoff team at the moment.
The Wings eye a needed victory when they try to hand the reeling Sky a fifth straight defeat on Friday night at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
Entering Thursday night's action, Dallas (7-13) owned the eighth and final playoff spot. However, Washington and Atlanta are still in the mix to claim that same position.
The Wings, though, don't have much room for error while amid a stretch of three losses in four games. Following this contest, Dallas concludes the season against last-place New York on Sunday.
"They're aware we've got work to do," Wings coach Brian Agler told The Dallas Morning News. "We've got to win basketball games. There should be a little bit of a sense of urgency to do that."
The Wings were victimized by an 11-0 run during Wednesday's 107-95 loss to Seattle. Making matters potentially more challenging, rookie Satou Sabally banged knees with Storm star Sue Bird in the fourth quarter and left the contest. That leaves an uncertain Friday status for Sabally (13.9 points per game, 7.8 rebounds per game), who scored 25 against the Storm.
Dallas star Arike Ogunbowale (21.9 ppg) was held to 15 points - one game after she poured in a career-high 39 in Sunday's win over Washington. Ogunbowale finished with 26 points in an 82-79 loss to Chicago on Aug. 4.
The Sky needed a late defensive stand to pull out that victory. However, wins have been hard to come of late for a Chicago team that's already punched its ticket to the playoffs. At one point, the Sky looked to be in the mix for a top-four seed in the postseason, but now are just trying to hold on to the No. 6 spot while amid a stretch of six losses in seven games.
It has not helped the Sky are without Azura Stevens (11.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg) for the remainder of the season with a knee injury and Diamond DeShields, who left the "Wubble" due to personal reasons.
Chicago led by as many as 18 in the third quarter on Wednesday, but blew it all en route to a frustrating 97-89 loss to Atlanta. Courtney Vandersloot (13.6 ppg, 9.9 assists per game) had 22 points with 11 assists and Allie Quigley (15.9 ppg) scored 17 for the Sky, who were outscored 52-34 in the second half.
Quigley was won one of three Chicago players with team-high 15 points in last month's win over Dallas.