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James Wade disappointed in Sky’s effort after loss: ‘They wanted it more than we did’

“I just felt like they were up 20, and they wanted it more than we did,” Wade said after the Sky’s loss to the Mystics.

Despite Diamond DeShields’ 24-point effort, the Mystics beat the Sky, 103-85.
Chicago Sky

The Sky looked completely different in their 103-85 loss Wednesday to the Mystics in Washington than they did in their home-opening victory Saturday.

And coach James Wade wasn’t pleased with the Sky’s effort — or lack thereof.

‘‘It wasn’t great,’’ Wade said in a phone interview with the Sun-Times after the loss. ‘‘We were a little discombobulated as far as focusing on the wrong things.’’

The Mystics’ defense dictated the game from the beginning, and things went from bad to worse for the Sky.

In the third quarter, former Sky star Elena Delle Donne needed not one or two shots but five before making a basket.

But it was more about the Sky’s porous defense than about Delle Donne’s persistence. The Sky had three defenders surrounding Delle Donne and couldn’t stop her from scoring.

‘‘I just felt like they were up 20, and they wanted it more than we did,’’ Wade said.

Even though this was the worst the Sky (1-2) have played in three games this season, they refused to call the defeat a step back in the grand scheme of the season.

‘‘We know that this is going to be a roller-coaster ride for our team this year because we’re in the process of — we’re not rebuilding, but we have to break a lot of old habits,’’ guard Diamond DeShields told the Sun-Times. ‘‘So in that, it’s going to take time. We’re having growing pains as a team, but we’re going to get through it together.’’

The Sky were outrebounded only 35-32, but turnovers led to their demise. Wade has been harping on his team all season to take care of the ball. The Sky have committed 40 turnovers in three games, including a season-high 17 against the Mystics.

‘‘When you’re playing against a good team, you can’t afford too many mistakes,’’ DeShields said. ‘‘And Washington just exposed us on the defensive end, along with our turnovers. We can’t have 17 turnovers.’’

The Sky also can’t afford to have their best shooter, guard Allie Quigley, go 0-for-6 from the field in 26 minutes.

‘‘She’s important to what we do, and we need players to take pressure off of her,’’ Wade said of Quigley, who averaged 17.5 points in the Sky’s first two games. ‘‘So you either get her any easy bucket or take some of the scoring load off of her. But we didn’t have that tonight.’’

The Sky shot the ball decently. They were led by DeShields, who scored 24 points. Forwards Jantel Lavender and Cheyenne Parker scored 15 and 14 points, respectively.

DeShields said this is only the beginning for her success on offense.

‘‘I worked really hard this offseason,’’ DeShields said. ‘‘This is just me getting in my groove and my rhythm. And I feel comfortable on the floor, but it’s not enough. I’ve got to figure out how to get my teammates more involved, and we all have to figure out how to get going.’’