Elena Delle Donne returned to Chicago's lineup, but her 28 points weren't enough to defeat the agile Minnesota Lynx.
"We let Minnesota get out to a really fast start," Sky coach Pokey Chatman said about her teams' defense. "We gave up 13 transition baskets. When you do that, other people become relevant. That's what helped them."
Today's game was all about the match-ups, and the Lynx were just able to finish their shots shooting 51% from the field, while Sky shot for 43%.
Minnesota's forward Maya Moore, was too quick Delle Donne, making three early buckets in the paint.
Chicago quickly made adjustments and put Tamera Young on Moore. With five minutes left in the first quarter, Young found herself being guarded by Moore. She put a quick move on Moore to bring the Sky within six, 34-28. Moore ended the night with 22 points and six assists, while Young finished with 11.
There was an exciting match-up between Chicago's Jamierra Faulkner and Minnesota's Renee Montgomery, whom both happened to be wearing the number 21 for their teams. In the second quarter, they both had back-to-back steals and threw their bodies on the floor to force a jump ball.
Under two minutes left in the half, Faulkner stole the ball once again from Montgomery. She finished the fast break with a right-handed lay-up to extend the Lynx lead to, 42-37. Faulkner had two steals, and added four points to the box score. Montgomery had five steals, three assists, and added 15 points to the Lynx's score.
"They are so good. Different people could come off the bench at different times. That's the talent I have on this team," Chatman said.
Former Chicago Sky, Sylvia Fowles, came out proving a point in today's game. Fowles ended with a double-double of 24 points, 13 rebounds, plus two assists to lead Minnesota.
Overall, the Sky gave up too many fouls, putting the Lynx to the line, giving them 20 extra points. Chicago also turned over the ball 13 times and gave Minnesota 15 points just from turnovers alone. The Lynx also shared the ball well, having 27 assists on the night compared to only 15 from the Sky.
"I'm not mad at the way we played. I'm excited to get back to the gym and watch film. I'm excited to play them again," Delle Donne added. "It takes a full team to stop them. They have vets that know what it takes."
The defending champs took advantage of everything the Sky gave them. As if 97-80 wasn't a big enough statement, Montgomery pulled up for a three with 10 seconds left in the game. Luckily for the Sky, she missed the shot and didn't make the lead even bigger for the Lynx.
The Chicago Sky will hit the road to take on the Atlanta Dream on Sunday for a 3 pm EST tip-off. The Minnesota Lynx will travel to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Seattle Storm on Sunday with a tip-off of 4 pm PST.