• Chicago opened the first 7 minutes of the game on a 12-3 run, in which guard Kahleah Copper led the way with 7 points.
• Los Angeles answered with a 16-3 run of their own late in the first quarter and early into the second.
• After the Sparks chipped the lead down to one, the Sky responded with an 8-2 run that pushed its lead back to 5 halfway through the 2nd quarter.
• Chicago opened the 2nd half strong as well, pushing its lead to 15 while on a 19-6 run that carried over from the 2nd quarter.
• Between the end of the 3rd quarter and start of the final frame, the Sparks went on a 11-0 run that cut the Sky’s lead to nine.
• Despite missing center Stefanie Dolson, the Sky outrebounded Los Angeles 38 to 30.
• Likewise, the Sky outscored the Sparks 42-32 in the paint without its starting center.
• Chicago had six of its nine players available tonight shoot at least 50% from the floor (minimum five attempts).
• Tonight’s margin of victory (18) for the Sky is its largest-ever against the Sparks-previously set at 15 in 2019.
• Courtney Vandersloot registered her 1,000th career field goal tonight after draining a three-point field goal in the 3rd quarter.
• It was the 2nd consecutive game where the Sky as a team recorded at least 25 assists.
• Vandersloot finished with double-digit assists for the 47th time in her career-She also recorded her 30th career doubledouble- she is currently the league-leader in double-doubles with assists.
• Gabby Williams continued her strong start to the season by scoring 11 points in the first half, shooting 75% from the floor and a perfect three-for-three from distance. She and Kahleah Copper combined for 15 of the Sky’s first 19 points.
• Copper’s stretch of terrific play continued as she once again led the team in scoring with Azurá Stevens (21 points) while shooting an efficient 10-16 (62.5%) from the floor.
• The Sky limited the high-powered Sparks offense to just 14 points in the 1st quarter and 19 points in the 3rd. By contrast, the Sparks scored 22 and 30 points, respectively, in the 1st and 3rd quarters during their season opener against Phoenix.
• Seven of the nine players dressed for tonight’s game recorded at least nine points.
LOS ANGELES NOTES
• Guards Brittney Sykes and Nneka Ogwumiuke’s combined 16 points in the 1st half accounted for nearly half of the Sparks’ total (36).
• Both of the aforementioned players shot over 60% from the floor.
• The Sparks finished with four players recording a double-digit scoring total
SKY GENERAL MANAGER & HEAD COACH JAMES WADE
On the differences from tonight’s game and Sunday’s season opener:
“I think it was first game jitters. So, you’re right on that call. Our game was much cleaner, but we didn’t have a reference game to look at and say where we were weak. But, now we’ve had a full game. We had scrimmage games, but they’re not the same rhythm, not the same pace. So, we were able to dissect the first game and say, ‘OK, this is what we did wrong. This is why we think we can be stronger. This is where we have to focus on as far as our weaknesses are concerned. And these are the things that we can actually focus on tomorrow as our strengths.’ So, we tried to apply that and we did a good job of executing our game plan. Our coaches did a great game plan and we just followed the game plan and we executed well.”
On the team’s multiple scoring options:
“It definitely makes us a more dangerous team, that we have multiple players that can put the ball in the basket. But what makes us even more dangerous is that we have multiple players that are willing to share it. It’s the second game that we’ve had 25-plus assists. And so people are going to see us scoring but it’s actually the way that we’re scoring. We had 25 assists on 37 to 38 field goals. And that’s how we want to play. We want to be a team that moves the ball and be multiple threats. But we also want to be a team that shares the ball. So that’s important for us.”
On the #SkyTakesAction campaign:
“Well, it is something that we talked about. We were talking about how can we take action? How can we affect our community? So, we all came together, we brought our hands together, and we have great leadership within our ballclub as far as our players are concerned. And it’s something that we’re going to do, we’re going to dedicate our time and dedicate our money and dedicate all our resources to extend it to By The Hand but also we’re also going to extend it to different causes that each one of us have as far as making the world a better place. Making society a better place as far as equality, as far as justice, justice reform. We knew that we were going to come in a bubble, we didn’t [want] playing to be a distraction. We wanted it to be that we were playing for something and plan for this. It’s so much more meaningful than wins and losses. And we just wanted to make sure that we made that aware, especially from the beginning. That we were going to dedicate our time and dedicate ourselves and dedicate everything we have to, equality, to justice. And so, that’s it. We’re going to keep on speaking on it, we’re going to keep on doing things to make people more aware. And so that’s the best that we can do, especially where we are right now. And now that we have this platform that everybody’s eyes are on us, we’re going to make sure that our voices are heard especially for the people that don’t have the same voice as we do.”
SKY FORWARD/CENTER AZURÁ STEVENS
“Well first, I’m always going to start media this year just talking about fighting for justice, for Breonna Taylor. We still want those cops arrested, and we’re going to keep speaking on it until it happens.”
On what has worked for her given the unique circumstance:
“I just think I give credit to the team, like we play so well together. We really have like true genuine team chemistry. And I think on this level that’s really important because a lot of teams don’t have that. But we really all played together, any night, it can be anybody’s name, and we have balanced scoring, we share the ball really well. We hit open people. And it just happens that tonight I was open more. But, I mean, the first night Kah[leah] [Copper] was open, we were feeding her. Any night it can be anyone. [Allie] Q[uigley]’s when she was hot we’re feeding her like it’s just a team effort. So, as strong as the team goes is how strong we’re going and we’re going to keep playing together and just growing more and more together as a team.”
On her comfort level with the team:
“I mean it’s been almost a full year since I’ve been on the court so I think for myself and honestly like James [Wade], Meghan [Lockerby] our trainer, even like everyone on the team they’ve been really reassuring for me because I’m really hard on myself. But it has been a whole year so I’m working on having more grace with myself and just understanding that a year is a long time to be away from something so like there’s gonna be a little bit of rust. Yeah, I feel good. I mean I feel sore right now obviously. But, I’ve been recovering every day and getting back to where I feel comfortable by the next day and the next game.”
SKY FORWARD CHEYENNE PARKER
On if she’s impressed with Kahleah Copper’s performance:
“Not impressed because we practice every day with Kah[leah] and Kah has shown what she got and what she can do. I already knew this was coming and so at this point I’m just proud and I’m just excited to see the rest of what she has to show because she’s not done yet. She’s [just] getting started.”
On where the team’s offense can go this season:
“I think it’s a really great thing that all the bigs have range on our team and that’s kind of what makes us special. It’s tough to guard all five especially when there’s penetration. When there’s penetration you have to help, and that leaves somebody open to knock down the shot. So, I’m just thankful that I have everyone around me that believes in me, my coaches and my teammates. I shoot with confidence and the rest of my teammates shoot with confidence and I think that’s what helps.”
On the Sky Takes Action campaign:
“We’re trying to raise as much money as we possibly can. Obviously, the more money, the better. But just the fact that we are doing something, and we’re taking action as a team, as a program, representing the Chicago Sky I think it’s really dope that we are taking initiative and trying to just raise awareness and get other people to take action. The whole point of us doing this was trying to get our fans active and get them involved. So I’m really excited and I can’t wait to see like how it goes, how much money we can raise.”
SKY FORWARD KAHLEAH COPPER
On how she worked on her game in the offseason to get to this point:
I think in the offseason I just have time to really worked on my game and really work on my consistency, and I think that was a big part of it for me, just coming in and being consistent. And I think just overseas, I got my confidence going, just worked on my game and just doing things that I know that I’m capable of doing.
On Azurá Stevens:
“I think Z… She tough! Byt I think that she was just perfect today. I mean, we were putting them in tough situations where they had to choose and she was outside, outside the three and she was knocking shots down and they never rotated so we’re gonna run the same thing until they stop and that’s what we did.”
On mentality going into the game:
“I think we had this conversation way before the season started, way back when we were in quarantine and we didn’t even know if we were going to have a season, we talked about what was important for us coming into the season. What was important for us is just to kind of put teams away early. We know we were good enough. And I think that was important for us today we knew how the game went with Vegas and how we trailed and had to come back and didn’t put them away but we wanted to set the tone early and I think we did a great job of really applying what we talked about in kind of the offseason. But I think that having that mentality that we had, we come in and we just do we’re supposed to do, early on and then makes the game, it makes the game much easier for us.”