Following the Sky’s overtime win against the Seattle Storm, which was the most-watched WNBA regular-season game since 2012, Candace Parker said the team got lucky.
Elaborating Parker explained in the WNBA it takes a little luck to pull out certain wins, especially coming off a month-long break. The Sky were adjusting to getting back on the court which contributed to their slow start.
Tuesday night the Sky were still finding their rhythm on offense, losing to the Wings 80-76.
Parker went to the bench early in the third quarter after a collision under the basket that left her on the floor and did not return. She emerged from the locker room in the fourth quarter with ice on her left ankle and both knees.
“It’s the same ankle that she sprained but it’s not as bad,” coach and general manager James Wade said. “There is not as much swelling as before so we’re optimistic.”
Kahleah Copper exploited the Wings in transition and was the only offensive spark for the Sky in the first half with 12 points. She went scoreless in the third quarter, exiting the game late with an apparent ankle injury.
She added four points after returning to the game in the fourth and finished with 16.
Defensively, the Sky played through possessions and forced multiple Wings turnovers on shot clock violations but were outrebounded 45-32 and allowed 17 second-chance points.
An 11-point deficit to open the fourth quarter was too much for the Sky to come back from despite Allie Quigley’s best efforts. She led the team in scoring with 27 on 77.8% shooting from three.
“We have to figure it out,” Quigley said. “We’re all capable scorers, individually and collectively. It’s about being the ‘I want to score more than you want to stop me’ kind of players.”
Stefanie Dolson’s 3×3 gold-medal-winning teammate Allisha Gray led the Wings with 20 points. Copper who was tasked with guarding Arike Ogunbowale most of the night held her to 15.
Next up for the Sky is a matchup with the Minnesota Lynx at home. The Lynx had their eight-game win streak snapped by the Connecticut Sun on Tuesday night. Fourth in league standings, they remain ahead of the Sky who are sixth after Tuesday’s loss.
Parker said Tuesday morning the Sky are focused on standings as long as the league continues its single-game elimination format in the first two rounds of the playoffs.
“I’d take our chances in a series and I think most teams would take their chances in a series,” Parker said. “At the same time, you just want to be playing really good basketball.”