Sky Prepare for Candace Parker in LA

The Los Angeles Sparks may be one of the WNBA’s most storied franchises, but they head into Saturday’s matchup against the Sky struggling, having lost four of their last five games despite the return of former first team All-WNBA Candace Parker to the lineup. This included a loss against the Tulsa Shock at home during that stretch.

The game remains important for the Sky, as the club is still working on finishing with its best record in franchise history. Winning on the road has been somewhat elusive this year and finishing strong on the final west coast trip could pay dividends for the young team as it looks to 2012.

The last time the teams met on July 30 at Allstate Arena, Sky Guard Erin Thorn, who has started the last four games for Chicago, nearly saved the day. Thorn went 5-6 from behind the arc scoring 17 points to help Chicago overcome a 20-point deficit in the second half and nearly overtake Los Angeles. The Sparks hung on, however, winning 88-84 behind hot shooting from Delisha Milton-Jones, Tina Thompson and Jantel Lavender. On the night, the Sparks shot over 56 percent, the highest any team shot against the Sky all season. The Sky leads the league in field goal percentage defense at 41.4%.

Sky Head Coach Pokey Chatman was more upset with her defense that night than the Spark’s shooting prowess.

“They’re good shooters, but I’m a good shooter if I can catch it, set my feet, fix the ball and read it,” said Chatman following the loss. “They’re good shooters when they’re wide open.”

Look for the Sky to make adjustments to keep the Sparks’ shooters in check and get back to their tough defensive ways.

With only two games to go, it’s crucial the Sky finishes the season strong. Tune into Comcast Xfinity CN100, liveaccess or NBATV for all the action. Tipoff is at 9:30 p.m. CT.