Diggins-Smith aims to lift Wings over skidding Fever (Jul 24, 2017)
Skylar Diggins-Smith and the Dallas Wings kick off the second half of the season Tuesday night against Candice Dupree and the Indiana Fever at College Park Center in Arlington, Texas.
Diggins-Smith and Dupree both played in last Saturday's WNBA All-Star Game in Seattle, with the former earning her second career All-Star nod and the latter appearing in her sixth.
Dupree had 14 points and six assists for the Eastern Conference while Diggins-Smith recorded eight points and seven assists for the Western Conference, which prevailed 130-121.
Dallas (10-12) and Indiana (8-13) stumbled into the All-Star break, with the Wings losing four of their last six games and the Fever dropping six of their final seven.
Indiana beat the Phoenix Mercury 84-77 on Wednesday before wrapping up the first half with an 85-61 loss to the San Antonio Stars the following day.
"It was huge for us, especially going into a back-to-back against San Antonio," Dupree told SwishAppeal.com about the Fever's most recent victory.
The Wings are 6-5 at home this season while the Fever have gone 3-8 on the road, including an 89-62 loss at Dallas on May 30. Indiana won the next meeting 91-85 at home on June 3.
Karima Christmas-Kelly scored a career-high 27 points to pace the Wings in their victory in May. Dupree had 18 points and Briann January added 16 for the Fever in their win last month.
Entering Tuesday, Diggins-Smith ranks eighth in the league in scoring with 18.5 points per game. Dupree is a few spots down in 19th, averaging a team-leading 13.9 points.
Diggins-Smith will need continued help from her morning workout buddy and rookie Kaela Davis, who is the Wings' sixth-leading scorer by averaging 7.9 points.
Davis scored a career-high 23 points in Dallas' second-to-last game before the All-Star break.
"We need her to come off that bench with energy, looking to be aggressive to the basket," Diggins-Smith told the Dallas Morning News of Davis.
Dallas and Indiana are fourth and fifth in the league in scoring, although there is a sizable difference between the Wings' (85.1 points per game) and Fever's (76.4) scoring average.
Currently, the Wings are inside the playoff picture with the seventh-highest winning percentage in the league (.455). It would be the team's first postseason berth since relocating from Tulsa before last season.
If the playoffs began, the Fever (.381) would be on the outside looking as they trail the Atlanta Dream by 1 1/2 games for the eighth and final playoff spot.