Time not on Sky's side heading into pivotal meeting with Sun (Aug 24, 2017)
Time is running out for the Chicago Sky.
With five games remaining, the Sky (11-18) trail seventh-place Seattle and eighth-place Dallas by two games. The Storm and Wings, both 14-17, both have three games to play.
And now Chicago faces the red-hot Connecticut Sun (20-10), which has won eight of its past nine games, on Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
Chicago was hopeful after extending the league's No. 2 team, the Los Angeles Sparks last week, to double overtime in a 115-106 home loss.
"We just can't take steps backward now," Sky guard Allie Quigley said, according to the website Swish Appeal. "If we play like that the rest of the season, then we'll go 6-0."
The Sky, however, took a significant step back against the Seattle Storm on Sunday.
In a 103-66 loss, Seattle shot 52.6 percent from the field and out-rebounded Chicago 42-28.
"We knew coming in that this was a playoff game and that it meant a lot in terms of breaking the tiebreaker with (Seattle) if it gets to that point," Quigley told the Chicago Sun-Times after the game. "But we just didn't have it tonight. It's one of those games where you learn from it, but at the same time forget about it and move on."
"There's a lot that we can continue to work on, and there's a lot that we're doing well right now," Chicago coach Amber Stocks said. "By no means does this game take away from any of the positives that this team is doing."
One positive: The Sky is 8-6 after a 3-12 start to the season.
The Sun has a different set of challenges.
Connecticut trails the second-place Los Angeles Sparks (22-8) by two games. The Sparks host first-place Minnesota on Friday night.
The playoffs' top two teams get two-round byes into the best-of-5 semifinals. The three and four seeds get byes into the single-elimination second round.
"We understand the importance of moving up in the rankings," Sun leading scorer Jonquel Jones told The Hartford Courant after Connecticut beat Dallas on Wednesday. "If we can get that second spot or first spot, whichever is better, I think we want that because it guarantees us the semifinals.
"We are working toward that. Sometimes it's not as pretty as you want it to be, and tonight was an ugly one, but a win is a win."
Jones had 20 point and 17 rebounds as the Sun held of the Wings, 93-87.
"We weren't perfect in the final two minutes tonight and we'll address that," Connecticut coach Curt Miller said. "It was a little closer than it needed to be, but we'll learn from that.
"It's what playoff games are going to be like."?
After Friday the Sun finishes the regular season with three road games, including a Sept. 3 trip to Los Angeles that could decide team gets a top-two playoff seed.
Chicago's remaining schedule includes two teams -- Minnesota and fourth-place New York -- that have clinched playoff spots and the two teams the Sky is chasing in the standings, Seattle and Dallas.