The Atlanta Dream will try to end an eight-game losing streak, and the Chicago Sky will attempt to snap out of a 1-4 funk in their last five games when the teams meet Tuesday at Atlanta.
The Dream (6-17) is one game ahead of the last-place Indiana Fever in the WNBA standings while Chicago (11-12) is second in the Eastern Conference despite losing its last two games at home.
The Sky did not have Candace Parker in their 101-95 loss to the Minnesota Lynx on Saturday because Parker suffered a left ankle injury in the previous game, an 80-76 loss to the Dallas Wings. Her status is unknown for Tuesday’s game.
Chicago played well without Parker in the loss to Minnesota but were outscored by 12 points at the free-throw line. The Lynx made 28 of 33 attempts while the Sky were 16 of 19.
“In a game that you shoot 48 percent (from the field) and 38 percent from (3-point range), have 24 assists and only nine turnovers, you have to win those games, especially at home,” Sky coach and general manager James Wade said.
Allie Quigley started in place of Diamond DeShields, Azura Stevens replaced Parker and Stefanie Dolson made her return to the starting lineup.
Quigley is the Sky’s leading scorer at 14.2 points per game, but only by a fraction ahead of starter Kahleah Copper (14.1). Quigley has consistently come off the bench, and Wade started her against Minnesota to get a potential offensive boost from the tip.
Atlanta is trying to find its winning combination under interim coach Darius Taylor, the franchise’s third coach since training camp. Nicki Collen left to fill the vacancy at Baylor and Mike Petersen stepped down during the Olympic break because of health reasons.
The Dream’s last nine games include meetings with WNBA powers Las Vegas and Connecticut, but Taylor remains optimistic that his mix of veterans and young talent can improve.
“We’re right there,” veteran guard Courtney Williams said. “A couple of possessions (go our way) and the game is ours. It’s a focus thing, not an effort thing or a chemistry thing. Our problems now are things we can fix.”
Second-year guard Chennedy Carter remains suspended since July 4 for conduct detrimental to the team.
Rookie guard Aari McDonald is taking advantage of additional playing time. She had 13 points and three steals in the 84-69 loss to the Phoenix Mercury on Saturday and is averaging 14 points over the past two games.
–Field Level Media