High-flying Aces head into first season meeting with Sky


The Chicago Sky and host Las Vegas Aces are both trying to strengthen their playoff positions as they meet Thursday night.

The Sky (14-13) have won three of the first four games on their road trip heading into their final game away from home this season, but they’re coming off a 103-83 loss at Phoenix on Tuesday.

“We didn’t have a sense of urgency,” Chicago coach James Wade said.

Kahleah Copper scored 18 points, Diamond DeShields and Azura Stevens had 15 each and Courtney Vandersloot added 11 to lead the Sky, but it wasn’t nearly enough to stop Phoenix from winning its seventh straight.

“I don’t think you take winning for granted,” Vandersloot said. “We had just won three in a row before this game. We were playing pretty well. This was a hot Phoenix team. Obviously we didn’t play well enough to win the game.

“We have to come out and perform every single night because every team’s coming for you. It’s that time of the year that people are trying to get into the playoffs or get their seeds that they want.”

The Aces (19-7) haven’t played since a concluding a road trip of their own with an 87-71 victory against Indiana last Saturday. They have won five of six and hold the No. 2 seed in the overall standings and are in first place in the Western Conference.

Riquna Williams scored 15 points to lead six Aces in double figures against the Fever.

It was a rare instance of Williams being the leading scorer on a team featuring top scorers such A’ja Wilson, Liz Cambage, Kelsey Plum, Chelsea Gray and Jackie Young. When c suffered a season-ending knee injury in May, Williams took on a defense-first role in her first season in Las Vegas and her 10th in the WNBA.

“I’ve had to completely change my mindset from knowing that I’m capable of being a dominant scorer to understanding that every night, I’m not needed to get 15, 20 points,” Williams said. “I’m more than just a scorer.”

The Sky and the Aces will meet again in Chicago on Sunday and Sept. 17.

–Field Level Media

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