Sky drop second straight, fall to Lynx 101-95

Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley each had 27 points. Vandersloot added eight assists and three rebounds.

SHARE Sky drop second straight, fall to Lynx 101-95

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The Sky knew they needed a big night rebounding in their game Saturday against the Minnesota Lynx, and they’d have to do it without Candace Parker, who is eighth on the WNBA’s career rebounding list.

The Sky couldn’t rise to the challenge and were outrebounded in a 101-95 loss at Wintrust Arena. 

The Sky sent the Lynx to the line 33 times, and the Lynx made 28 free throws. The Sky were 16-for-19 from the line.

Parker suffered an ankle injury Tuesday against the Dallas Wings. She went from day-to-day to doubtful to out against the Lynx. But she was walking without a boot or crutches, which is a good sign that she won’t miss extended action.

“In a game that you shoot 48% and 38% from three, have 24 assists and only nine turnovers, you have to win those games, especially at home,” Sky coach and general manager James Wade said.

The Sky’s starting five once again saw changes. Allie Quigley started in place of Diamond DeShields, Azura Stevens replaced Parker and Stefanie Dolson, who came off the bench against the Seattle Storm and the Wings, made her return. 

Wade said he intended to shake things up in an attempt to boost the offensive energy at the start of the game. Quigley, who is the team’s second-leading scorer behind Kah-leah Copper, has consistently come off the bench to provide that spark. As a starter, she did exactly what Wade needed her to do.

Against the Lynx earlier in the season, the Sky had six players score in double figures, including Parker. On Saturday, four players finished in double figures, with Quigley and Courtney Vandersloot leading the way. 

Vandersloot had 27 points, eight assists and three rebounds. Quigley had 27 points, five rebounds and three assists. 

Early foul trouble for Stevens limited her time on the floor. She finished with just five points and one rebound. 

The Lynx are the fourth-best rebounding team in the league with the fourth-best rebounder in Sylvia Fowles. All week Wade said the team prioritized taking away second-chance opportunities. Without Parker, the Sky needed to have an all-around team effort on the glass and did until the fourth quarter, when they slowed down. 

While the Sky tried to create energy on offense, their defense lapsed. The 101 points they allowed were the most by the Sky this season. The Lynx have scored more than 100 just one other time this year.

Crystal Dangerfield helped spark a late run by the Lynx. She scored 16 points, and Layshia Clarendon led the team with 18. They were too much for the Sky to overcome. 

The Sky entered the season as a favorite to reach the WNBA Finals. Now, at 11-12 with nine games left in the season, they don’t figure to live up to the hype because of the inconsistency that has plagued them in previous years.

The Sky begin a five-game road trip Tuesday in Atlanta, followed by a two-game series against Seattle and games against Phoenix and Las Vegas. 

The trip will be telling. Seattle has welcomed Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird back to its starting five, and Las Vegas is leading the league in offensive rating. Both are favorites to meet again in the WNBA Finals. 

“A full game is coming,” Quigley said. “We’re going to continue to bring it on offense and play a full game defensively, too.” 

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