Chicago, Il -- With the President of the WNBA in town, neither team wanted to disappoint. It wasn't until the fourth quarter, when the Sky was able to get ahead of the Wings, extending the lead by 13, the largest of the night.
"We got good looks, we stayed disciplined, we trusted our offense." Sky coach Pokey Chatman continued, "Our players stuck to the game plan, despite missing some shots early on." Coach Chatman said plus the inclusion of tonight's win being huge for her team.
Both teams were trying to figure out each other's offense and defense in the first half. Both teams were trading buckets.
With 10 seconds left in the half, Wings' Theresa Plaisance answered Elena Delle Donne's jumper with a buzzer beater put-back.
The Sky went into the locker room only up by three, 38-35. Chicago shot for 36 percent compared to Dallas' 29 percent.
Chicago started the third quarter refreshed and more disciplined. Delle Donne got her first block of the night to start a 10-4 run for Chicago. But then, Dallas came out of a time out outscoring the Sky, 9-5.
"We had a crucial stretch in the third quarter where we had huge defensive blocks, and everyone was locked in," Chatman added.
The Sky started the fourth quarter on a 11-5 run. Cheyenne Parker's buzzer beater put-back was enough for Dallas' Fred Williams, to call a timeout.
Coming out of the timeout, Dallas' Plenette Pierson banked in a three. Odyssey Sims got herself another three to contribute to the Wings 7-2 run.
Sims' and Pierson's threes are what kept Dallas in the game. Pierson was 5-7 behind the arc, Sims was 3-5, respectively.
But the rest of the fourth quarter belonged to Chicago. The bench alone scored 16 of the Sky's 25 points in the fourth quarter.
What started the spark for the Sky?
"Nothing even needed to be said. Those are the games you love. Everyone was locked in," said player of the game, Delle Donne. "Everyone knew how critical this win was. Everyone was locked in."
Imani Boyette's and Delle Donne's blocks down low, Courtney Vandersloot and Jamierra Faulkner controlling their offense, Chicago bounced back from a tough loss earlier this week, with an 84-77 victory over Dallas.
Faulkner had another explosive night assisting her team with six assists (still second in the league), and 13 points. Delle Donne finished with 24 points, two blocked shots, and five rebounds.
Faulkner continues to stand out and be an explosive starter. The question that comes to mind is, what has led to her standout performances?
As Faulkner was thinking about it, Coach interrupted her and said," She comes early, leaves late, watches a lot of film and asks questions. Now you tell them what you think." Faulkner just laughed and grinned in agreeance.
Dallas' leaders were Pierson and Sims. Pierson totaled 20 points, while Sims had 14 with six assists.
Chicago gets on the road for their west coast two-game road trip. The Sky will touch down in Seattle and play them on Sunday for a 6 pm tipoff.
Dallas will return home to play Minnesota on Sunday.