Friday, September 2 – 5:30 p.m. PT
Allstate Arena | Rosemont, IL
Chicago is 2-0 since the Olympic break, improving to 13-13 on the season and jumping into fifth in the league standings. The Sky is aiming to qualify for the playoffs for the fourth straight year. Seattle, looking to reach its first postseason since 2013, is 11-16 and now alone in the eighth playoff spot after Wednesday’s win over Dallas.
The teams have met once so far this year, and reigning MVP Elena Delle Donne had perhaps her best game of the season in a 91-88 victory for the Sky. Delle Donne scored 35 points and drained all three of her attempts from deep, including the game-winning three-pointer with 0.9 seconds remaining. The Storm had overcome a 25-point deficit to tie the game before Delle Donne’s winner.
Seattle is 2-1 since the Olympic break, and much of the team’s success can be attributed to the play of Jewell Loyd. The reigning Rookie of the Year is averaging 19.3 points on 43.2 percent shooting, 5.0 assists and 3.3 steals in the last three games. She had a career-high five steals in the win over the Sparks, and her 9-of-10 shooting from the free throw line helped Seattle hold off Dallas on Wednesday.
Chicago guard Cappie Pondexter has 6,192 career points, which puts her at sixth on the WNBA’s all-time scoring list. She passed Storm legend Lauren Jackson earlier this season to move into sixth. Pondexter could pass Lisa Leslie for fifth by the end of the season, as she averages 11.7 points and needs to score 8.9 per game in the final eight contests to do so. She is also ninth in career assists and just four assists from passing Temeka Johnson for eighth.
In the first meeting of the season, Alysha Clark started the game guarding Elena Delle Donne. Clark is six inches shorter than the 6-5 Delle Donne, but as Storm coach Jenny Boucek pointed out after the game, “Delle Donne is playing the three. AC has done a good job over the years on bigger players, but she is an elite scorer. When she’s at the three, AC is our best matchup.” Breanna Stewart also spent time on the reigning MVP, but Delle Donne managed 35 points in a Sky victory.
- Storm forward Breanna Stewart, averaging 18.3 points per game in her rookie season, is just seven away from reaching 500 career points. If she scores seven or more points on Friday, Stewart would tie Tamika Catchings and Elena Delle Donne, among others, as the sixth-fastest in league history to score 500 by reaching it in her 28th game.