New York (AP) — Chicago Sky is doing its best to move up the WNBA after a slow start due to injury.
Chicago (7-7) won five straight wins for a road game in New York on Tuesday night. It’s no coincidence that the return of Candace Parker and Allie Quigley helped the winning streak.
Parker missed seven games in a shootaround due to an ankle injury, but Quigley was sent off due to a hamstring problem. Stepha Needleson also missed several games while helping the United States qualify for the Olympics in 3×3.
Now that everyone is back, Sky has consistently been able to win.
“We have recovered the stolen goods,” said top scorer Carrea Copper. “We’re not playing to lose. We’re tough and we know we can win this game.”
Chicago has an average of six players making double-digit balanced attacks this season.
Sky will be tested against Liberty on a five-game road trip starting with two. The trip got off to an ominous start, with a five-hour plus travel delay to arrive in New York on Monday.
Backed by a streak of wins, Sky jumped from 10th to 3rd in this week’s AP power poll.
This Week’s WNBA Poll:
1. Seattle (12-2): Storm finished five undefeated road swings with two wins in India. They are clicking on both attack and defense.
2. Las Vegas (10-3): Ace is at a pace of averaging over 90 points for the first time since Phoenix went in 2010. Las Vegas (91.2 points) has already scored over 100 points four times this season.
3. Chicago (7-7): Courtney Vandersloo averages 12.1 points and is the WNBA-Best 8.5 Assist. She is a big reason why Sky shares the ball well with 19.9 assists per game. This is the fourth best in the league.
4. Connecticut (8-5): Sun welcomes Kurt Miller, who missed some games to stay with his mother after suffering a stroke. There is still no John Kell Jones playing in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the FIBA European Championships in Connecticut.
5. New York (7-6): Liberty made a 2-2 swing on the west coast and welcomed Sabrina Ionescu’s return due to ankle problems.
6. Washington (6-6): Mystics continues to lose players due to injury, but is looking for a way to win. Teresa Pleasance helped Mystics reach 2-0 last week with an average of 20.5 points, 9 rebounds and 3.5 assists. Mystics injured Myisha Hines Allen and Natasha Cloud. Washington signed a hardship exemption for former AP University player Megan Gustafsson on Sunday.
7. Dallas (6-7): Marina Mabury beat Minnesota on Saturday to score the highest 28 points of her career. She averages 16.5 points and 5.2 rebounds this season.
8. Phoenix (6-7): Diana Torashi wants to recover from a sternum fracture injury when Mercury played in Los Angeles on Sunday. She played in just four games this season, averaging 15.8 points, 3.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds.
9. Minnesota (5-7): Lynx has lost three of the last five games since winning three straight games.
10. Atlanta (5-7): Dream loses guard Tiffany Hayes in a Grade 2 MCL tier and she is on the sidelines until the Olympic break is over.
11. Los Angeles (5-7): Erica Wheeler had the first two double-doubles of his career, but not enough to help Sparks avoid consecutive losses to Phoenix and New York. ..
12. Indiana (1-14): Fever has dropped 10 games in a row since his only victory of the season in Washington. The team will end the skid on Thursday at a four-game home stand against Dallas.
Players of the Week:
Kelsey Plum in Las Vegas had a great week with an average of 25 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists to help Ace wipe out a pair of games from the New York Liberty. Plum scored the highest 32 points of his career in his first victory over Liberty. Other players voted this week included Courtney Vandersloo in Chicago, Breana Stewart in Seattle, Theresa Plaisance, and Tina Charles in Washington.
The United States will release a list of 12 Olympic athletes on Monday, with Sue Bird and Diana Torashi aiming for their fifth gold medal in Tokyo. The two five-time Olympic athletes were joined by other veterans Silvia Fouls, Tina Charles, Brittney Griner and Breana Stewart. The Americans also have six Olympic rookie headliners by governing WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson.
This Week’s Statistics:
Ace leads the league by a plus 11.7 points. In the first 24 seasons of the league, the team that led the WNBA in that category won the 19th championship. Five teams with double-digit score differences won the title each time.
Games of the Week:
Sunday, storm in Ace. The top two teams in the league meet at the end of the regular season. They split the first two meetings and opened the season in Seattle.
Other AP Women’s Basketball: https: //apnews.com/hub/womens-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
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Finally Healthy Chicago Sky Climbing WNBA Standings | WGN Radio 720
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