With four games left in the regular season, the Chicago Sky are venturing into crisis mode. They've lost two straight games and reigning MVP Elena Delle Donne has an injured thumb and missed Friday's loss to the Indiana Fever.
The Sky, with or without Delle Donne, will try to right the ship Sunday when they visit the also-desperate Connecticut Sun at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Delle Donne injured her right thumb last week in a loss to the Washington Mystics. The WNBA's leading scorer told the Chicago Tribune on Thursday that she's "day-to-day." Without her, the Sky are in danger of missing the playoffs.
Chicago (15-15) closes the regular season against the first-place Minnesota Lynx, the playoff-bound New York Liberty and the Seattle Storm, who are in playoff position as well. Plus, Connecticut beat the Sky 94-89 in their most recent meeting on July 22.
Delle Donne scored 20 points in the loss. Connecticut guard Alex Bentley had 21 points and forward Jonquel Jones provided a spark off the bench with her first career double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. The win came in the middle of the Sun's late-season turnaround.
After a bad start to the season, the Sun (11-19) made a late playoff push in mid-July and August, winning five of six at one point to get in the thick of the postseason hunt. But they've dropped two straight games since and enter Sunday's game two games behind the Phoenix Mercury for the final playoff berth.
The top eight teams, regardless of conference, qualify for the postseason.
The Sun are coming off a hard-fought 89-82 loss to the Liberty on Friday. Chiney Ogwumike had 20 points and nine rebounds, continuing her impressive season. Ogwumike leads the team in rebounding (6.3 rebounds per game) and is second in scoring (12.3 points).
If Delle Donne can't go, guard Cappie Pondexter will be looked upon to take on some more of the coming load. Pondexter is averaging 12.2 points per game.
Chicago defeated Connecticut 93-70 in the season opener for both teams. It was the beginning of a 2-10 start for the Sun.