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Elena Delle Donne makes mystical return to Chicago, defeats Sky 82-67

Washington Mystics guard Elena Delle Donne plays against the San Antonio Stars during the first half of a WNBA basketball game at the Verizon Center in Washington. | Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post

Elena Delle Donne shined in her first game back at the Allstate Arena Wednesday since being traded to the Washington Mystics from the Chicago Sky. Delle Donne scored a game-high 21 points, while pulling down eight rebounds en route to the Mystics 82-67 win.

The 6-foot-5 forward opened the scoring with a turnaround jumper from the free-throw line and shot 46.7 percent from the field.

Wednesday’s game marked Delle Donne’s first time returning to Chicago since she was traded back in February.

Last season, Delle Donne averaged 21.5 points per game before her season abruptly ended when she underwent thumb surgery five games before the playoffs started. A Delle Donne-less Sky advanced to the WNBA semifinals before losing to the Los Angeles Sparks, which went on to eventually win the league’s championship.

The year before, Delle Donne was the league’s MVP after she led the WNBA, averaging 23.4 points per game.

Despite her success in Chicago, Delle Donne longed to be closer to her hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. In January, reports surfaced that Delle Donne was unhappy playing for the Sky and was seeking a trade.

That trade happened Feb. 2 when Washington Mystics coach and general manager Mike Thibault announced that his team had acquired Delle Donne from the Sky.

Fast forward to this season, where Delle Donne is showing her Olympic-gold caliber and veteran leadership for the Mystics.

Through six games, Delle Donne leads the Mystics in scoring, averaging 21.7 points per game (T-4th in WNBA), while shooting 60.6 percent from the field.