Two teams headed in opposite directions collide Sunday afternoon, when the reeling Dallas Wings host the surging Chicago Sky at College Park Center.
The Wings (9-17) have dropped seven straight games, including a 98-72 blowout loss at Phoenix on Friday. Plentte Pierson led Dallas with 23 points and eclipsed 4,000 points for her career in the loss. But the Wings' defense was exposed again. Phoenix shot 57.1 percent from the floor. Dallas is last in the WNBA in points allowed.
The Wings did get star forward Glory Johnson back on Friday. Johnson missed the last five games before the Olympic break with a broken toe. She returned to action against the Mercury, but was rusty, hitting just one of seven field goals and finishing with two points and three rebounds in 21 minutes of action.
The Sky (12-13) have won four of five games, including an 84-77 win over the Wings on July 15. Chicago also beat Dallas, 92-87, in late May. Now, coach Pokey Chatman's team appears ready to make a post-Olympic break push to the playoffs.
With nine games remaining, the Sky are in sixth place in the league standings. The top eight teams, regardless of conference, qualify for the postseason.
Chicago rallied to beat the Atlanta Dream on Friday, behind another big performance from Olympian Elena Delle Donne. The reigning MVP, Delle Donne scored 34 points, going 14 of 14 from the foul line in leading Chicago's comeback. Trailing early in the third quarter, the Sky mounted a 15-0 run to take command, answered a fourth-quarter challenge from the Dream and pulled away for 90-82 win.
Chatman credited her team's rebounding in addition to the play of Delle Donne and Pondexter for Friday's win. Pondexter finished with 17 points and five assists. Delle Donne also had five assists.
"It's their ability to lead the game. When you lead the team in scoring and assists with five, that's huge," Chatman told reporters after Friday's win. "That's comfort, that's flow, that's confidence in other people and playing a lot of minutes. One of them looked at me like they were tired and I acted like I didn't see them."