The duo of Elena Delle Donne and Cappie Pondexter were too much for the Minnesota Lynx, as the Sky were able to snap the Lynx’s three-game winning streak.
The long rest period the Sky have had since their last game, a win over the Connecticut Storm on July 2nd, seemed to work wonders for their ability to balance the team’s offensive load.
Four starters scored in double digits, and Clarissa Dos Santos came off the bench to pitch in 10 points of her own, as Chicago snapped Minnesota’s three-game win streak with their victory last night.
Cappie Pondexter and Elena Delle Donne shared the responsibility of leading the team on the offensive side of the ball, scoring 24 points each on efficient shooting. Delle Donne brought down 10 rebounds as well in her seventh double-double of the season.
The Lynx were led by Maya Moore, who scored 29 points, more than double that of Minnesota’s next leading scorer. Moore was shooting with no fear, making five free throws out of the 14 she launched. Two of those shots from long distance came in the decisive last minutes of the fourth.
After Chicago had pulled away in the middle of the final quarter, Maya Moore’s four-point play with a minute to go brought Minnesota within 5 points. Courtney Vandersloot would make two free throws at the other end to stretch the lead back out, but Moore would respond with another three on the ensuing possession to cut the Sky lead to four.
Vandersloot drew a foul on the next possession, knocking down both free throws, and the Lynx would not hit another shot for the rest of the game.
Despite the fact that Minnesota scored 83 points, Chicago coach Pokey Chatman was pleased with her team’s efforts on the defensive side of the ball.
“You won’t see on the stat sheet, but we had 29 deflections,” Chatman said. “That kind of limits some things for them because we are flying around a little bit, we’re getting tips, we’re getting some steals, we’re getting out in transition.”
The transition played definitely helped the Sky, who offense was particularly aggressive in the first half; they only managed to get to the free throw stripe twice in the first two-quarters. They quickly made up for in the second, though, going 19 for 21.
Cappie Pondexter was a force in the fourth quarter, at one point scoring nine straight points for the Sky. She said her switch into attack mode was purposeful, to give her team an example.
“I wanted to be aggressive to let the team know that we can win this game easily, especially being at home,” said Pondexter.
Though the win didn’t come easily, Chicago will take it, as they try to stretch their win streak to three games tomorrow in a rematch with the Connecticut Sun.
Minnesota will try to rebound against the Stars tomorrow. The Lynx have yet to lose two games in a row all season.