Monarchs-Sky Preview

The Sacramento Monarchs struggled on the road last season and didn't fare well in their first contest away from home in 2008.

The Monarchs look to bounce back from their first loss of the year when they visit the Chicago Sky on Thursday night.

Sacramento (1-1) was unable to hold a 13-point lead and fell 74-62 at Seattle on Tuesday for its sixth consecutive road loss, including playoff games.

"We have a long way to go, there's no question," Monarchs coach Jenny Boucek said. "We're on a steep learning curve."

Sacramento's 2007 season ended with back-to-back losses at San Antonio in the first round of the playoffs after going 7-10 on the road during the regular season. The Monarchs did manage to win 54-52 at Chicago on June 19 to improve to 2-0 all-time on the road against the third-year Sky.

On Tuesday, Rebekkah Brunson scored 15 points while Nicole Powell and Kara Lawson each had 10 for Sacramento, which was done in by Seattle's 30-11 second-half run. The Monarchs, who turned the ball over 23 times, scored just 28 points in the final two quarters and allowed the Storm to score 35 points in the fourth.

"We have to continue to play harder than the other team if we want to win," said Brunson, who had 10 points and nine rebounds in a 73-64 season-opening win over San Antonio on Saturday.

Lawson scored 19 points last season at Chicago (0-1), which got 39 points from guard Jia Perkins in the Sky's 92-84 win at Sacramento on June 29 in the teams' most recent meeting.

"They have a lot of athleticism and youth," Boucek said of the Sky. "There are no easy games, especially on the road."

Like Sacramento, Chicago failed to hold a significant second-half lead and lost 67-61 at Seattle on Saturday in its season opener.

Chasity Melvin had 15 points off the bench and Perkins added 12 for the Sky, who led by nine in the third quarter but went without a field goal for nearly 11 minutes in the second half.

Sky center Sylvia Fowles, the second overall pick in this year's WNBA draft, had six points, seven rebounds and four blocks, but played just 15 minutes before fouling out in her professional debut.

Sacramento leads 3-1 in the all-time series between the teams.

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