Silver Stars-Sky Preview
Jia Perkins has been drawing praise from her San Antonio Silver Stars teammates for her intensity. Her former team, the Chicago Sky, was criticized by its coach for lacking that attribute during its most recent defeat.
In her first matchup with the Sky since being traded, Perkins will try to keep the first-place Silver Stars unbeaten away from home Tuesday night.
Perkins helped the Silver Stars (6-1) bounce back from their only loss with 31 points and eight rebounds in a 90-80 win over Los Angeles on Friday. The reserve guard then had 25 points and another eight boards two days later, helping to rally her team to a 92-86 win over Atlanta - San Antonio's third victory in as many road games this season.
"Not only is (Perkins) a good scorer, but she's someone that gets a lot of people involved and has rebounded like crazy these last few games," leading scorer Becky Hammon said. "We just need her to keep being productive."
Perkins' former team was far from productive during the third quarter of an 86-78 home loss to Phoenix on Saturday. The Sky (4-4) headed into the break with a three-point lead but were outscored 25-13 in the third.
They were outrebounded 40-29 and gave up 28 second-chance points overall.
"We were soft," first-year coach Pokey Chatman said. "We lost the game because we were soft. That sums up a lot."
Chicago has dropped three of four, but that's not because of Sylvia Fowles, who's averaging a league-best 22.4 points. The All-Star center scored a season-high 28 on Saturday, topping 20 for the seventh consecutive contest.
"She's the best post player in the world," guard Courtney Vandersloot said. "Every night she's going to give it her all. She works harder than anybody I've ever played with down there and she gets rewarded because of it."
Guard Epiphanny Prince is scoring 17.1 points a game, but she's the only other Sky player averaging in double figures. Michelle Snow, acquired from San Antonio for Perkins on April 20, is averaging 7.8 and shooting a career-worst 45.5 percent from the field.
Perkins is one of four Silver Stars averaging at least 15.0 points. She is at 16.9 per contest, nearly equal to her career-best 17.0 with Chicago in 2008.
Perkins averaged 10.7 points and Fowles 17.8 against the Silver Stars last season as the Sky swept both matchups. Fowles, Prince and Perkins each had 14 points during an 88-61 rout at Allstate Arena on July 14, while Hammon was held to eight.
Chicago guard Dominique Canty became the ninth player in league history with at least 2,500 points, 900 rebounds and 900 assists in that game, but she'll likely miss this matchup after undergoing surgery on her left knee Thursday.