Sky stay unbeaten behind Elena Delle Donne’s 27 points
BY BRIAN SANDALOW For Sun-Times Media May 24, 2014 11:44PM
Updated: June 26, 2014 6:49AM
Coach Pokey Chatman and Elena Delle Donne really like where the Sky are. That doesn’t mean they’re ready to celebrate anything.
After their 87-73 victory Saturday night over the Atlanta Dream, the Sky are 4-0 for the first time in franchise history and are overcoming the absences of Sylvia Fowles and Epiphanny Prince better than anybody expected.
But after her 27-point performance, Delle Donne wasn’t putting too much meaning in the undefeated start.
“It’s great,’’ Delle Donne said. ‘‘Obviously, we’re thrilled to be 4-0, but it’s early, and it’s only four wins, so we have to continue to get better. Even tonight, there were some lapses that we can’t have.”
The Sky were helped by having five double-figure scorers, 35 points from the bench and Courtney Vandersloot’s 11 assists to match her franchise record.
They also held the Dream (2-1), who were playing without leading scorer Angel McCoughtry, to 34 points in the second half.
McCoughtry was a late scratch because of a strained left rhomboid (upper back) muscle and was replaced by former Sky forward Swin Cash. Making her first start with the Dream, Cash had two points.
Cash was a starter on last season’s 24-10 Sky team that had the Eastern Conference’s best record and the WNBA’s rookie of the year (Delle Donne).
“I love this team, and the team’s ready to step up for any battle, and even the bench is ready for us,” Delle Donne said. “I really like this team’s fight, their energy and the focus and our ability to really get along and execute.”
The Sky could be getting more help soon from Prince, who was activated Friday after her excused absence but didn’t play. Chatman said Prince is day-to-day and didn’t say whether she’d be back for the game Monday against the defending champion Minnesota Lynx.
Chatman put plenty of emphasis on that game but not for any grand reason.
“It’s huge, but you know why? Because it’s the next one,” Chatman said. “That’s just how we approach it.”