Sky-Stars preview

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Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Chicago Sky are playing good basketball at the right time. They will try to stay hot Sunday, when the reeling San Antonio Stars visit Allstate Arena.

The Sky have won their first three games since returning from the month-long Olympic break, including a hard-fought 92-88 victory over the Seattle Storm on Friday.

Chicago has won six of seven overall to climb into fifth place in the league standings, heading into the final seven games of the regular season. The top eight teams, regardless of conference, qualify for the postseason.

The Stars, although not mathematically eliminated, will likely not be headed to the playoffs. At 6-21, they have the worst record in the league and have struggled mightily since leading scorer Kayla McBride was lost for the season in early July.

Chicago and San Antonio split the two previous meetings this season, with each team winning close games on their home court. Elena Delle Donne scored 19 of her 23 points in the second half of the Sky's 81-75 win on June 21.

McBride scored 14 points for San Antonio in the loss to Chicago. Two weeks later, the Notre Dame product suffered a right foot fracture in a loss at Minnesota and was ruled out for the season. The Stars have gone 1-8 without McBride, with their only win during that stretch coming last week against the Washington Mystics.

While San Antonio is struggling, Chicago is surging. The Sky built an early lead and fought off every Seattle challenge in Friday's win. Forward Tamera Young had a big night for the Sky, hitting 10 of 15 shots and finishing with 24 points. Delle Donne had 22 points in the win, continuing her quest to win back-to-back league MVPs.

Delle Donne leads in the WNBA in scoring at 21.6 points per game and fuels the Sky's high-scoring offense Chicago is third in the WNBA in scoring, averaging 85.0 points per game. San Antonio is last in the league in scoring, averaging 72.1 points per game.

After Sunday's game, the Sky head out on a three-game road trip.