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Without Elena Delle Donne, Sky loses to Storm

Updated: July 12, 2014 6:42AM

About an hour before the Sky’s 80-76 loss to the Seattle Storm, it became apparent star Elena Delle Donne wasn’t playing.

The numbers of the Sky’s starters were displayed on auxiliary scoreboards at Allstate Arena, and Delle Donne’s 11 wasn’t there. Then, Delle Donne wasn’t on the court for pregame warmups. She finally emerged from the locker room briefly before the game but in street clothes as she battles a recurrence of the Lyme disease she was diagnosed with during her sophomore year at the University of Delaware.

“I’ve had better days,” Delle Donne said.

Delle Donne is averaging 22.3 points for the Sky, who were also without starting forward Jessica Breland because of a right leg injury suffered Saturday during their 97-59 loss in Atlanta.

Playing without Delle Donne
and Breland plus Sylvia Fowles’ continued absence due to a hip injury, the Sky
(5-4) lost their third straight despite shooting 45.2 percent from the field, while using all nine players available.

Epiphanny Prince had 18 in her second game for the Sky, who only led 2-0 and trailed by as many as 17.

As for Delle Donne, the 2013 rookie of the year is day-to-day after missing the first professional game of her career because of the disease.

After the initial diagnosis when she was at Delaware, Delle Donne missed 11 games of her sophomore season. She sat four more during her senior year because of the disease, which flared up for Delle Donne during the back-to-back games last weekend. The disease leaves her exhausted.

Against Atlanta, Delle Donne
was held to seven points. The next day, she posted a photo on her Instagram account of an infrared sauna with the hashtags #lymefight #sundayfunday.

“It’s always been a day-to-day battle, but especially right now it’s day-to-day,” Delle Donne
said. “The team’s phenomenal, they’re getting me treatment that I need and we’ll just figure it out from there.”

Tanisha Wright had 17 points for Seattle (4-6), which shot 45 percent from behind the 3-point line.

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