Sky at Sparks Preview 6/14

The Chicago Sky will look to hand the Sparks their first loss of the season when they take the court at 9:30 p.m. CT at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

This game features a matchup between two of the most well-rounded teams in the WNBA. Led by Elena Delle Donne, the Sky boasts the 4th best offense in the WNBA at 84.6 points per game, rank 3rd in rebounds with 37.8 boards per game, and are dishing out a league-best 21.9 assists per game. The Sky also holds the 5th best defense in the league, holding opponents to 81.3 points per game. Candace Parkers’ Sparks feature the second-best offense in the game putting up 86.8 points per game, struggle on the boards averaging only 32 rebounds per game (10th overall), but trail only Chicago in assists with 21.1 per game. The Sparks play the best defense in the league giving up just 69.9 points per game. Both team rosters feature players who lead the league in important statistical categories as Sky backup guard Jamierra Faulkner, who leads the WNBA with 6.4 assists per game, while the Sparks feature the most efficient player in the game in Nneka Ogwumike (68% from the field), and the deadliest three-point shooter in Kristi Tolliver (48%).

The Sky brings a 5-5 record into the contest and looks to rebound from a tough 86-80 loss to the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday, June 12. The Sky led by as many as 13 points (62-49) at the 5:45 mark in the 3rd period, before the Mercury finished the game on a 37-18 run. The Mercury first regained the lead 78-77 at the 2:31 mark during the fourth quarter after having not led since holding a 9-8 advantage at the 6:12 mark of the first quarter. Elena Delle Donne paced the Sky with 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting. Sky veteran Cappie Pondexter added 15 points and two assists and achieved multiple milestones during the contest, passing Lauren Jackson to become sixth all-time in career points in WNBA history (with 6,016 and counting) and tying Teresa Weatherspoon for ninth in career assists at 1,338. Diana Taurasi finished with a game-high 31 points for the Mercury, tying a season-high with 6 triples.

The Sparks are a perfect 9-0 on the season and are coming off a 97-73 victory over the Dallas Wings on Saturday, June 11. Nneka Ogwumike scored 32 points, going a perfect 12-for-12 from the field. Candace Parker was limited to just six points but contributed eight rebounds and six assists. Los Angeles shot 59% from the field for the game and outscored Dallas in the paint by a margin of 54-22. Skylar Diggins had 13 points in 18 minutes off the bench for the Wings.

The Sky lost their previous contest against the Sparks 93-80 on May 24 in Rosemont. Chicago kept it close with the Sparks for the first 14 minutes of the game before Los Angeles closed the half on an 18-2 run to take a 53-35 into the half, and then cruised to victory. Jamierra Faulkner had a double-double with 17 points and 10 assists. Jessica Breland contributed 18 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks. Candace Parker had 26 points and nine rebounds. Chicago shot 51% during the contest but gave up 23 points off 15 turnovers and the Sky need to take better care of the ball in this upcoming contest in order to have a chance at returning to Chicago with a win.

Tip-off between the Sky and Sparks is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. CDT and fans can tune in to WNBA League Pass to catch all the action. The Sky will finish their road trip in Atlanta on Friday, June 17 at 6:30pm CDT before returning to Rosemont for a game against the San Antonio Stars on Tuesday, June 21 for a 7:00 CDT contest. Tickets start as low as $18. Call 866.SKY.WNBA or visit CHICAGOSKY.NET to purchase tickets today.