Sylvia Fowles helps Sky put end to threat in win
BY MATT CARLSON Associated Press August 2, 2013 11:44PM
Washington Mystics v Chicago Sky
Updated: September 4, 2013 6:17AM
Sylvia Fowles came through with the big effort the short-handed Sky needed.
The 6-foot-6 center had a season-high 32 points and 15 rebounds, and the Sky overcame the absence of injured leading scorer Elena Delle Donne to beat the Washington Mystics 85-78 on Friday night at Allstate Arena.
“You know, she’s a beast,” Chicago coach Pokey Chatman said. “I call that her beast mode. ... Look at her toenail polish when you go in there (to the locker room). She’s got that Incredible Hulk Green on.”
Fowles was the most visible player on the court, too. She went 10 for 14 from the floor, then 12-for-15 from the free-throw line and dominated under the basket.
“She’s one of the best in the world,” Chatman said. “She’s powerful, she’s quick, she’s fast. That’s what we need her to be to have success.”
The Eastern Conferece-leading Sky (13-5) won for the sixth time in seven games.
Delle Donne had started Chicago’s first 17 games, but was sidelined on Friday with a concussion she suffered in a game at Washington on July 24 and is day-to-day. The rookie leads the Sky with 18.2 points per game and was the top vote-getter for last Saturday’s WNBA All-Star game, but wasn’t able to play in that contest.
Chicago was also missing Carolyn Swords, who is out long-term with a knee injury, and Sharnee Zoll-Norman, who has an injured thumb.
“We have three players out right now,” Fowles said. “You just want to go out there and step up for your teammates as much as possible. ... We all are a unit. I think everyone went out there to prove a point even though we have some people down.”
Tamera Young had 13 points and Swin Cash added 10 for the Sky, who won by staying aggressive, forcing fouls and going 28 for 34 from the free-throw line.
Matee Ajavon scored 19 points and Monique Currie had 13 as Washington (9-11) lost its second straight and fourth in its last five.
Chicago led 55-53 midway through the third quarter before pulling away with a 12-0 run.
But the Mystics closed twice closed to within one point late in the fourth quarter. Then Fowles made two free throws with 3:23 left — and other Sky players followed up from the line — to help Chicago pull away for good.
The Sky got off to a 23-13 start in the first quarter, but the Mystics roared back to tie it 44 all at the half.
“We took care of the ball in the first half,” Mystics coach Mike Thibault said. “We didn’t turn it over much. ... But in the second half, we had some major turnovers and, apparently, we foul a lot. I don’t know what the difference is, but apparently we must.”
The most visible difference in the game was Fowles, though.
“And obviously, Sylvia was really good,” Thibault added. “Give credit to Chicago. Sylvia put them on her back.”