Sky Gain Ground in Playoff Chase

With playoff positioning on the line, the Sky (14-17) denied the Atlanta Dream (17-14) the opportunity to clinch the top seed in the Eastern Conference, following losses from New York and Washington in earlier action. The Sky also inched one step closer to securing a post-season berth of their own.

It was a battle of rookie point guards early as Jamierra Faulkner and Celine Dumerc each came out of the gate firing. Faulkner scored, or assisted, on eight of the Sky's first 10 points while Dumerc hit her first three shots, and handed out three assists in the quarter. A 5-0 run by Chicago in the final 44 seconds of the first quarter gave the Sky a 21-20 lead after ten minutes.

After Chicago pushed their lead to five, Atlanta came storming back with an 11-2 run over a five-minute stretch of the second quarter to take a 31-27 lead. A three-point basket from Faulkner cut the Dream lead to one. Atlanta's All-Star guard Shoni Schimmel answered with a three of her own to push the Dream's lead back up to four. Chicago managed to hit a couple late free throws, but trailed 36-32 at the half.

In the third quarter Allie Quigley, Jamierra Faulkner and Epiphanny Prince combined for 19 of the Sky's 23 points. Quigley's back-to-back three pointers in the quarter's final minute gave the Sky a 55-53 lead heading into the fourth.

The Sky's hot shooting continued well into the fourth quarter, as Chicago surged to a nine-point lead behind a 12-5 start to the quarter. Elena Delle Donne reached double figures for the fourth time in five games since returning to the team, scoring 15 points, nine in the fourth to lead Chicago to an 80-69 victory. Sky center Sylvia Fowles recorded her 11th double-double of the season by scoring 13 points, six in the fourth quarter, and grabbing 15 rebounds.

As the Sky continue their playoff chase next week, Pokey Chatman is hopeful to have a full roster healthy at some point.

"They deserve to all be together," said Sky head Coach Pokey Chatman. "With all the duress they have had to deal with, individually through injuries and role changes, they deserve to all be together when it matters the most."

The Sky visits Washington for a matinee matchup on Wednesday afternoon. The Mystics (15-16) stand one game ahead of Chicago after losing in double overtime to Connecticut on Sunday. Wednesday's game begins at 10:30am CT on NBATV and LiveAccess.