From bad to worse, Sky losing streak extends to six

Kahleah Copper scored a career-high 29 points, passing two-time MVP Elena Delle Donne on the Sky’s all-time scoring list with 2,183 points.

SHARE From bad to worse, Sky losing streak extends to six
The Sky’s Kahleah Copper dribbles the ball during Sunday’s loss to the Connecticut Sun.

The Sky’s Kahleah Copper dribbles the ball during Sunday’s loss to the Connecticut Sun.

NBAE via Getty Images

The Sky’s energy and effort were different to start the game Sunday afternoon in Uncasville, Connecticut, against the Sun.

They resembled a version of the team from the beginning of the season. They finished it like the team they’ve shown themselves to be lately, dropping their sixth in a row in a 96-72 loss to the Sun.

“We got ourselves into trouble in the second half,” Sky coach/general manager James Wade said. “The game started off well. We worked on our offense a lot this week, so you saw our -defense kind of suffer in the first quarter.”

The suffering carried through the next three as the Sky allowed the Sun to ring up their season high in points.

Led by DeWanna Bonner, who finished with a team-high 26 points, the Sun outscored the Sky 54-38 in the paint. Many of those points came from turnovers for easy layups in transition. The Sun converted 19 turnovers into 27 points. Alyssa Thomas had her fourth regular-season triple-double (14 points, 12 assists, 11 rebounds), the most in WNBA history.

“I have no idea,” Courtney Williams responded when asked to what she attributes the Sky’s high volume of turnovers. “We’re trying to find our teammates, and sometimes I guess you can overpass. We’re trying to play fast, trying to get people the ball, and sometimes it just doesn’t go our way.”

Williams has been tapped as the Sky’s -primary facilitator, and she has admitted that she needs time to adjust to the role. She has averaged a career-low 7.3 points through 14 games but has dished a career-high 5.7 assists.

“All of the turnovers are with good intentions,” Kahleah Copper said. “We have to continue to play together, learn where everyone’s spots are and know how they want it. Some people want the bounce off the curl. Some people want it in the chest. We got Courtney playing the one right now. That’s a 360 for her.”

Copper experienced a 360 of her own from the previous two games. She averaged 7.5 points in the two losses but scored eight in the first quarter Sunday and finished with a career-high 29 points. She also passed two-time MVP Elena Delle Donne on the Sky’s all-time scorers list with 2,183 points.

In her four seasons with the Sky, Delle Donne scored 2,155 points. Copper was part of a trade that sent Delle Donne to the Mystics in 2017.

“It’s special, humbling and rewarding,” Copper said. “I wasn’t a player that came to this franchise to be the franchise player. For me to see my name amongst those greats is special and keeps me on my toes.”

Copper might not have been brought to the franchise expecting to lead it one day, but that’s exactly where she finds herself. After the game, she was stoic as she explained this team, -despite its newness, is having the difficult conversations necessary to snap this streak.

“We don’t want to continue to lose,” Copper said. “It’s not like things are going unsaid. We’re addressing [our issues] every game. Nothing is going under the table.”

The loss drops the Sky to last place in the Eastern Conference and ninth in the league with no ease in their upcoming schedule. The Sky host back-to-back games against the Sparks, the second-place team in the West, before heading back on the road to face the Fever.

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