When the Phoenix Mercury and Chicago Sky most recently faced off, it was for a WNBA championship.
Now, the Mercury will aim to snap a five-game losing streak Tuesday evening when they visit the Sky.
Still playing without superstar center Brittney Griner, who has been detained in Russia on drug charges since February, the Mercury (2-6) have struggled this season. Their latest loss came on Sunday in College Park, Ga., against the Atlanta Dream, 81-54.
With 23 points, Diamond DeShields was the only Phoenix player to score in double digits.
It was an abysmal performance from the Mercury. The Dream held Phoenix to a season-low 26.5 percent shooting from the field and a season low from 3-point territory at 15.8 percent. Diana Taurasi scored two points and Skylar Diggins-Smith had seven, both of which were season lows. Both multiple-time All-Stars average double-digit points per game — Taurasi with 14.3 and Diggins-Smith a team-leading 17.2.
“We just got to share the ball a little bit more,” Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard said. “Atlanta did a good job of taking us out of our transition game.”
The Sky (4-3) are coming off a loss too, having been bested by the Las Vegas Aces on Saturday. Candace Parker had 11 points and 11 boards in the 83-76 defeat. Earlier this month, Parker, 36, became the WNBA’s oldest player to have a triple-double.
But on Tuesday, the focus likely will be on DeShields. The Phoenix guard spent the first four seasons of her career with Chicago and helped them win the WNBA title last year, when the Sky beat the Mercury three games to one.
Chicago’s Allie Quigley recently raved about DeShields and her impact to ESPN.
“When you saw what she could do on the basketball court, it was just unbelievable, the way she could go 94 feet and just how fast she was,” Quigley said. “It was crazy. … It was just such a luxury to have around the team.”
–Field Level Media