Sat, 30 Sep 2023

Sky put strong start up against Dream

Field Level Media
30 May 2023, 04:55 GMT+10

Injuries have not kept the Chicago Sky from getting off to a strong start, while the Atlanta Dream must take advantage of an extended stretch at home.

The Sky will look to improve to 3-0 on the road when they face the Dream on Tuesday night.

After losing stars Candace Parker and Courtney Vandersloot, plus dependable shooter Allie Quigley during the offseason, Chicago (3-1) has more than held its own out of the gate. It's even more impressive considering injured veteran forward Isabelle Harrison (knee) has yet to debut for the Sky, while Morgan Bertsch (ankle) and Rebekah Gardner (foot) -- both day to day -- missed Sunday's 94-88 home win over Dallas.

"(The adversity) is not that big a deal," Sky coach/general manager James Wade said. "It's how you respond.

"When I say we're really confident with all the players that we have on our roster, we are."

After scoring 19 points in Chicago's 71-69 home loss to Washington on Friday, Marina Mabrey had 23 versus Dallas, while Kahleah Copper added 16. Alanna Smith recorded 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Courtney Williams posted 12 and 11, respectively, as Chicago scored its most points of the young season.

Copper is averaging 15.8 points per game, while Mabrey is at 15.7 and Williams scores 10.5 with 8.3 rebounds.

The Sky, who opened with road wins at Minnesota and Phoenix, aim for a fifth straight victory over Atlanta (1-2).

In the opener of a five-game homestand, the Dream lost 90-87 on Sunday to the Indiana Fever, who ended a WNBA-record tying 20-game losing streak. All three Dream games have been decided by seven or fewer points.

"No game is gonna be easy," Dream coach Tanisha Wright said.

"If we're going to win games, we've got to be high-level, in terms of our execution."

While the Dream rank third in the WNBA averaging 82.7 points, they're eighth in the 12-team league on defense, giving up 84.0 per contest.

Allisha Gray leads Atlanta in scoring (18.3 points), rebounds (7.0) and assists (4.0), while former Sky forward Cheyenne Parker, along with guard Rhyne Howard, average 17.0 points apiece.

--Field Level Media

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