June 21, 2021
‘We got our swag back’: Scenes from a Chicago winning streak
Nothing but blue Skies ahead?
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Here’s the deal: when the Chicago Sky is completely healthy, and when playmakers are on the floor, they are a force to be reckoned with, and have a great chance of contending for a championship trophy.
In their last two games against the Connecticut Sun, the Sky’s firepower turned on after sluggish first quarters, witnessed by more than 2,400 fans combined at Wintrust Arena.
As guard Kahleah Copper succinctly put it, “We got our swag back.”
How much firepower?
Only the Sky and the Las Vegas Aces have six players averaging in double-digit scoring: Kahleah Copper leads with a team-high 14.1 ppg, Courtney Vandersloot is averaging 12.1 ppg, Candace Parker, 11.5, Allie Quigley, 12.0 ppg, Diamond DeShields, 12.6 ppg and Astou Ndour-Fall, 10.1 ppg.
Vandersloot was named as the WNBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week, the league announced Monday. This is the sixth time in Vandersloot’s career she has earned the honor and is the first Sky player to pick up the weekly award this season.
Parker earned her first double-double for the Sky in Thursday’s game.
Saturday’s game featured Vandersloot earning her third consecutive double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
The team erased the deficit created by the seven-game skid that put them at 2-7 and is now .500 on the season.
Not coincidentally, they are 6-0 when Parker is on the floor.
In Saturday’s 91-81 win, the team went from scoring 12 points in the first quarter, its lowest of the season, to 28 points in the second, its highest second-quarter total of 2021. Then, the Sky went on a 24-8 run to end the second quarter, up six points at the half.
But trouble was ahead, even without Jones.
“The Sun are a grind-it-out team,” Parker said on Thursday. “They’re going to make you take shots you don’t necessarily want.”
Parker’s words proved prescient. The Sun opened up the third quarter on a 13-0 run to regain the lead. The Sun tied the game with 4:25 left in the fourth quarter after going on an 8-2 run. Finally, the Sky put the game away with an 18-4 run over 4:15 minutes for a 13-point lead, ending the game on a standing ovation from the fans.
Lest you think lightly of a five-game winning streak in a 30+ game season, the Sky has only achieved it three times in franchise history. There has only been one winning streak that has ended at five games for the Sky (July 7-July 20, 2013). The Sky also has two six-game winning streaks in its 15 seasons (May 30-July 13, 2012 & August 15-31, 2013).
The Sky begins a five-game road trip on Tuesday, June 22 from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. to take on the New York Liberty (6-6) at 6:00p CT.