Struggling Sky face tough assignment against Lynx (Jul 7, 2017)

Chicago Sky coach Amber Stocks keeps looking for positives in an increasingly challenging WNBA season.

The Sky suffered an 89-82 loss to previously winless San Antonio (1-14) on June 30. Now Chicago (3-12) goes up against the league’s best team — the once-beaten Minnesota Lynx — on Saturday night at Allstate Arena.

Allie Quigley scored a game-high 27 points and Stefanie Dolson added 14 against San Antonio as Chicago dropped its third straight since an 82-78 victory over Atlanta on June 23.

“I like the way we pushed the ball and that we were able to get some shots at the free throw line,” Stocks said. “I would have liked to see us do a better job rebounding, securing those key defensive rebounds as well as not letting perimeter players get shots in the paint.”

Chicago remains winless (0-7) at its suburban Chicago home.

Minnesota is coming off an 88-77 victory over Los Angeles, the first meeting since the Sparks beat the Lynx in the 2016 WNBA finals.

Former Sky standout Sylvia Fowles and Renee Montgomery each had 20 points in the victory.

“I loved the start we got off to,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. “I thought that we were pretty locked in and focused, which is what you expect. We dictated a lot of the action and I felt we had them back on their heels initially. Offensively, we put the ball in the hole pretty consistently with the big lead.”

Fowles was the WNBA Western Conference player of the month for May and June. Montgomery, who was averaging 6.5 points, had her most productive game since 2012.

“She’s someone who knows her role is to bring the energy, keep the momentum going,” Maya Moore told reporters of her teammate. “She owns it.”

Los Angeles remains Minnesota’s closest pursuer in the Western Conference and fell two games behind the leaders.

Saturday’s game is the second meeting between Minnesota and Chicago. The Lynx claimed a 70-61 victory on May 14. Chicago was missing Quigley, its top scorer, and assist leader Courtney Vandersloot while both were wrapping up overseas play.

The Lynx’s only loss was a 98-93 setback to Connecticut on June 17.

Minnesota travels to Phoenix next Friday. Chicago hosts the Dallas Wings in a Wednesday matinee and travels to New York next Friday.