The Chicago Sky can breathe a little sigh of relief after ending their recent six-game losing streak with a convincing victory at home over the Los Angeles Sparks. A renewed sense of energy was fueled in part by a team synergy that seemed to be lacking during this skid.
The Sky were dealing with a series of injuries affecting some core talent and had been eliminated from the Commissioner’s Cup. None of that deterred them from playing arguably their best game all season long.
Patience and persistence were the major factors.
At the start, it was back and forth with the Sparks holding the slight edge. But the Sky blew things open in the second quarter as they outscored LA 27-17. While Chicago maintained a sizable lead throughout much of the third quarter, the Sparks were not too far behind as the Ogwumike sisters (Nneka and Chiney), Jordin Canada, and Karlie Samuelson contributed at both ends and kept the game within reach.
That pattern continued into the fourth quarter, but the sustained effort by the core and bench players — such as fan favorite Dana Evans — worked in the favor of the Sky as they were able to secure a double-digit lead and come away with the win.
The Sky managed to take their time to fully get adjusted to the game and once they did, they played their game, which is much faster-paced. In other words, it was patience leading to persistence.
A huge factor was the leadership of Courtney Williams. She finished with a game-high 21 points, was 9-of-15 from the field, was 3-of-4 from the 3-point line and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
Not to be outdone, Elizabeth Williams was perfect literally. She was 3-of-3 from the field and scored eight points. She also notched two blocks, including one on a driving layup attempt by Canada in the final seconds of the third quarter that became an immediate highlight reel.
Team captain Kahleah Copper was good for 14 points and six rebounds. Evans came through with 11 points. She shot 4-of-9 from the field and 2-of-4 from the 3-point line.
Marina Mabrey finished with 13 points, was 2-of-5 from three and had a team-high four assists. Although Alanna Smith was 0-of-2 from three, she managed to add nine points.
All in all, everybody pulled together and that is what got the Sky over the hump.
Afterward, C. Williams spoke about what this means in terms of strengthening the team’s overall chemistry.
“Anytime you win it’s a good feeling,” she said. “I think you can take from it. But again you got to take from everything. You can’t get too high, you can’t get too low. We can’t be walking around here like, yeah, we don’t want it, but we got to be able to take the good from it and build on it.”
The Sky (6-9) will play the Sparks (7-8) again at home on Friday at 8 p.m. ET.