The Chicago Sky will attempt to clinch the top seed for the WNBA postseason when they visit the second-place Las Vegas Aces on Thursday night.
The defending champion Sky (25-9) lead the Aces (24-10) by one game with two left to play. The race tightened up Tuesday when the Sky lost 111-100 to the Seattle Storm while the Aces beat the Atlanta Dream 97-90.
Chicago’s defense was missing in action. Seattle scored 66 first-half points and set a WNBA record with 37 assists en route to scoring the most points the Sky have allowed this season.
But the Chicago roster saw the contest as a blip on the radar and not something to prompt major concern.
“I wouldn’t say this is a wake-up call,” Chicago’s Rebekah Gardner said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “We know what we need to do. This is a good game that told us going back-to-back is not going to be easy.”
Courtney Vandersloot scored 28 points for the Sky for her second straight game of 20 or more.
Las Vegas has won two straight contests and nine of its past 12 games.
The Aces had four players score at least 20 in the win over Atlanta. A’ja Wilson contributed 24 points and 14 rebounds, Chelsea Gray and Kelsey Plum scored 22 apiece and Jackie Young tallied 20.
Plum, who also contributed eight assists, was quiet in the first half before scoring 18 points in the second. She was 9-of-17 shooting.
“At the end of the day, you can play well and miss shots,” Plum said, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I feel like we’re past the point of evaluating good or bad games based on made or missed shots.”
Aces two-time All-Star Dearica Hamby injured her right knee in the second quarter. Coach Becky Hammon said Hamby would undergo testing and imaging on Wednesday.
Las Vegas is 1-1 in regular-season play and 2-1 overall against the Sky this season, including two road wins — 83-76 on May 28 and 93-83 in the Commissioner’s Cup championship on July 26. Chicago recorded a 104-95 road win on June 21.
–Field Level Media
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