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Playoff-bound Sky aiming for sixth straight win, face Wings

Sportsnaut
Oct 10, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; A view of the offical game ball during the second half of game one of the 2021 WNBA Finals between the Phoenix Mercury and the Chicago Sky at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The WNBA-leading Chicago Sky can record a season-high sixth straight victory by beating the visiting Dallas Wings for the second time in less than a week on Friday night.

With a playoff berth already secured, the Sky will try to continue their surge that included an 89-81 road win over the Wings last Saturday.

Chicago (20-6) became the league’s first team to clinch a playoff spot with Wednesday’s 78-74 victory over the Seattle Storm. The Sky overcame an early 10-point hole to shoot 48.5 percent, snaped the Storm’s four-game winning streak and post their 10th victory in 11 games.

The Sky have allowed an average of 76.4 points in the last five games.

“We have to keep pushing, and play every game like it’s a game — and we have to win,” Sky guard Julie Allemand said. “We just have to try to win all the time.”

Chicago, which has also won eight straight at home, beat Dallas and Seattle without star guard Courtney Vandersloot, who could remain out with a concussion. Without Vandersloot on Saturday at Dallas (11-14), the Sky trailed by six after three quarters before outscoring the host 30-16 in the fourth.

Kahleah Copper (14.5 points, 5.7 rebounds per game) had 23 points with a career-high 14 boards against the Wings, while Emma Meesseman (12.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg) also scored 23. Meanwhile, Meesseman posted 16 with 10 rebounds and six assists versus Seattle.

The Wings haven’t played since falling to the Sky for their fifth defeat in seven games. Marina Mabrey (12.7 ppg) had 22 points after totaling 15 in her previous two contests. Teammate Arike Ogunbowale (19.5 ppg) finished with 15 on 4-of-16 shooting as Dallas’ shot selection and team focus was questioned down the stretch against Chicago.

“We started playing a little bit individually instead of playing together as a team on both sides of the basketball court,” Dallas coach Vickie Johnson said.

“We have to be more consistent closing games.”

Though Dallas is 5-8 at home, it’s 6-6 on the road, where it will try for a second consecutive victory.

–Field Level Media