Brooklyn, NY— The Chicago Sky have a new and improved attitude since Candace Parker returned from an ankle injury, setting a franchise record for consecutive victories with their seventh straight.
Chicago had no trouble with the Lib for a second-straight game at the Barclays Center, winning 91-68 Thursday night. The Sky boosts the team’s record to 9-7 on the season.
Parker scored 12 points and 11 rebounds and Courtney Vandersloot had 13 points and nine assists for the Sky, which also routed New York on Tuesday night. Chicago won six games in a row in 2012 and 2013.
Kahleah Copper and Diamond DeShields got into the action each scoring 18 points apiece in the win.
With a 2-7 to start the month, the team has completely turned their game up this month, including another dominating victory in Brooklyn.
They were five members of the Sky that were in double-figures with DeShields and Copper leading the way with 18 points each. Vandersloot and Allie Quigley had 13 points a piece while Parker chipped in 12 with a team-high 11 boards.
The Sky sprinted out to a 37-13 run in the second quarter that put the game away and sealed it.
“I just like the way we bounced back after the games we lost in a row and we stayed together,” said head coach game James Wade after the win. Sometimes you can see teams go either direction and the fact that we stayed together, fought through it, got people healthy, that was really special from this group and the fact that they enjoy playing together.”
Former Oregon star Ruthy Hebard came off the Sky bench to chip in six points and grab three boards in just over 17 minutes on the court. Hebard former teammate, Sabrina Ionesu, who is working her way back from an ankle injury, had two points and five assists in 13 minutes on the floor off the Liberty bench.
Chicago led 21-15 early in the second quarter before open it up by scoring the next 12 points, including five by Quigley.
The onslaught continued with a 34-11 run to end the half and put the game away. The Sky hit 15 of its 24 shots in the period putting on a clinic. Chicago led 55-27 at the break.
Chicago won five of the their last seven wins by double-digits including the last three games, and in the stretch they’ve solidified a fourth place spot in the overall WNBA standings.
“It’s really dope. When you got people like DK, KD, Russ, and Ciera,” DeShields said. “Steve Nash (who was at Tuesday’s game) supporting you, you know the league is heading in the right direction.”
The Sky gets a few days off before playing the Connecticut Sun for the third time in five games on the road Sunday afternoon at the Mohegan Sun to continue their winning streak.
Michaela Onyenwere scored 16 points fort New York. Betnijah Laney and Sami Whitcomb each had 14 in the loss.
“Seven wins in a row feels nice,” Chicago coach James Wade said. “Seven in a row won’t help us win the next game. now we have to focus on Connecticut.”
The Liberty (7-8) couldn’t muster any points to close the gap in the second half of the contest.
Chicago forward Stefanie Dolson was announced as part of the U.S. roster for the inaugural 3×3 tournament at the Olympics next month. Dolson will be joined by Kelsey Plum, Allisha Gray, and Katie Lou Samuelson. The quartet helped the Americans qualify for the Tokyo Games earlier this month.
The Liberty continued to struggle from behind the 3-point line, going just 4 for 25 beyond the arc.
“Am I able to easily shrug it off? No. We’re capable of hitting those shots, but we’re not executing,” said Sami Whitcomb. “We’re also missing shots at the rim and not executive. You can shake off a 4-for-whatever if you play defense.”
Sky: At Connecticut on Sunday.
Liberty: At Atlanta for games Saturday and Tuesday.