Chicago Slows Down Houston

CHICAGO, July 29,2007 (AP) -- Stacey Dales scored 18 points to lead the Chicago Sky to an 88-70 victory over the Houston Comets on Sunday night.

Jia Perkins scored 13, Chasity Melvin added 12 and Candice Dupree had 11 for Chicago (12-14), which shot 49.2 percent (32-of-65), had 25 assists and forced 20 turnovers while setting a franchise record for the largest winning margin.

"I don't think you see as much one-on-one stuff as you do people playing together,'' Sky head coach Bo Overton said. "When people are playing together and making the extra passes, that ball just always goes in.''

The Sky won for the fourth time in five games and increased their lead to one game over New York and Washington for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

"I was proud of the the way we attacked,'' Dales said. "It takes a while to develop chemistry and now our roles are more defined.''

Tina Thompson, the Comets' leading scorer at 18.4 points per game, had 10 points, six assists and six rebounds. Barbara Turner added 11 points for Houston (8-17), which shot 39.3 percent (24-of-61) from the field while losing for the third time in five games.

Chicago got off to a quick start and led by at least 20 points for most of the game. The Sky opened the second quarter on a 9-2 run with all reserves on the floor to take a 21 point lead with 6:14 left in the first half.

"I think that they shocked us a little bit that they came out so hard and so fast,'' Thompson said. "We allowed them to do every single thing that they wanted to do.''

Brooke Wyckoff hit a 3-pointer after Dales completed a rare four-point play to give Chicago took its biggest lead of the game, 73-44, with 2:03 left in the third quarter.

"They were aggressive, period,'' Comets head coach Karleen Thompson said. "We didn't attack that zone defense. We were back on our heels.''

The Sky shot 47.2 percent (17-of-36), had 13 assists and an 11-0 advantage in fastbreak points as they took a 47-27 halftime lead. Perkins had 11 points in the half.

Chicago's biggest win previously was by 13 points at Connecticut on June 17.