Sky square off against slumping Sparks

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Saturday, July 21, 2018

The Chicago Sky will attempt to win back-to-back games for the first time this month when they host the Los Angeles Sparks on Sunday evening at Wintrust Arena.

Chicago (8-16) has endured a trying season but is coming off its best performance in weeks. The Sky sprinted to a 114-99 win over the Dallas Wings on Friday night, marking a season high in points while shooting 56.8 percent from the field and 48 percent from beyond the arc.

Five players scored in double digits, with Kahleah Copper (23) and Allie Quigley (21) leading the way. Guard Courtney Vandersloot finished with a triple-double of 13 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists as Chicago won for the second time in nine games.

Vandersloot was the seventh player in WNBA history to achieve the feat.

"It's a big deal," she said to reporters after the game. "This is my first-ever triple-double. I can't rebound like that."

Now, she and her teammates will try to stay hot against a formidable but cold team in the Sparks.

Los Angeles (14-10) enjoyed a tremendous start to the season, but it has lost seven of its past 10 games. The Sparks still are in good shape to make the playoffs, but they know that a continued slide could threaten their postseason hopes.

The Sparks will try to bounce back from a miserable 78-76 home loss to the Indiana Fever on Friday. The outcome marked Indiana's third victory in 24 games this season.

Look for Sparks veteran Candace Parker to rally her teammates as they try to regroup. Parker, who grew up in the Chicago suburb of Naperville, will return home to try to reset the narrative on the season's second half.

Earlier this month, Parker learned that she had been named as a captain for the WNBA All-Star Game.

"I'm honored to be named a captain and am excited to be joined by two of my teammates (in Nneka Ogwumike and Chelsea Gray)," Parker said to the Sparks' official website. "It should be fun, and it's good to see the league mixing it up with the captain format."

Parker leads the team in scoring at 17.9 points per game. Ogwumike is averaging 16.1 points.

For Chicago, Quigley is averaging a team-best 16.4 points.Rookie Diamond DeShields is next at 13.6.

This marks the third and final meeting of the regular season between the teams. Los Angeles has won each of the first two games, including a 77-59 home victory on June 10 and an 81-72 road win seven days later.