Sky Defeat Sparks

Coach Key has been preaching all season that his team can be successful as soon as they start playing as a team.

For the second game in a row, the Sky have proved they have what it takes to be an elite team in this league as they beat the Los Angeles Sparks, 80-68 Friday night at Allstate Arena.

Aggressive defense, sharing the ball and rebounding are all signs of a team coming together. The sky demonstrated all three aspects Friday night, outrebounding the Sparks 39-23 and recording 22 assists on 32 field goals. In addition, for the first time all season, six Sky players scored in double-digits.

Erin Thorn continued her sharp shooting from behind the arc as she finished with 15 points on 5-of-6 from 3-point range. The Sky as a team shot 53 percent from behind the stripe. Epiphanny Prince provided more support off the bench for Coach Key with 11 points.

After having a comfortable lead for the majority of the first three quarters, the Sparks made a run in the third to cut the lead to nine. However, coming into the fourth, the Sky did what all superior teams are supposed to do when the opposition responds with a run. They started the quarter on a 9-0 run, putting the game out of reach for good and well on their way to their second straight victory over a Western Conference opponent, in which the Sky are 5-0 on the season.

Over the past two seasons, the Sparks have had their way on the boards outrebounding the Sky 40-29. Los Angeles Head Coach Jennifer Gillom iterated it wasn’t just the rebounding that led the Sparks to their third loss in four games.

“We didn't come out in the first half with the energy that we needed to and we did not match their intensity,” Gillom said. “It was just a tough night.”

In her first game back to Chicago, former Sky guard Kristi Tolliver finished with seven points in 18 minutes of play. DeLisha Milton-Jones led the Sparks with 21 points. Despite the positive output on offense, she knows the Sparks need to make some adjustments to make it in the Western Conference.

“The thing with us is if the ball is not going into the basket for us offensively, we have a let down of intensity on the defensive end,” Milton-Jones said. “That has been the common denominator in every loss that we have had this year.”

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