Mystics seeks second straight win over Sky

The Washington Mystics will go for back-to-back wins over the Chicago Sky when the teams meet for the second time in less than a week Friday night at Wintrust Arena near Chicago’s South Loop.

Washington (7-5) enjoyed a dominant 88-60 victory over the Sky on Tuesday night in the nation’s capital. Both teams had two days off before their rematch near the shores of Lake Michigan.

Chicago (3-8) is mired in a five-game losing streak, which marks its worst stretch of the season. The Sky opened the season with back-to-back wins but have lost eight of their past nine games since then.

If Tuesday night was any indication, the back end of a home-and-home series will not be easy for Chicago. The Mystics have scored at least 80 points in each of their past four games, including 95 points in a win over the Connecticut Sun last week.

Washington is led in scoring by 6-foot-5 Elena Delle Donne, who is averaging 17.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Other top scorers on the Mystics include Kristi Toliver (15.0 points per game), Ariel Atkins (10.8), Tianna Hawkins (9.8) and Monique Currie (8.8).

The Mystics received even more support this week as Tayler Hill returned for her first game since tearing her anterior cruciate ligament in 2017. Hill scored six points in eight minutes in the win over the Sky.

“It was an emotional day, really emotional,” Hill said to the Washington Post. “It felt good. I have so many great supporters between the teammates, my coaches, the fans, my family, my best friends. They are so great.

“Through this whole process — 10 months post-surgery, almost a year since I tore it — through this whole process, they’ve been my rock. They’ve pushed me through the days when I wanted to quit.”

The Sky also refuse to quit despite an ugly stretch that has badly hurt their chances to reach the playoffs.

Chicago coach Amber Stocks said her players need to focus on reducing turnovers. That will lead to better ball possession, which in turn will lead to more shots and — she hopes — a better shooting percentage.

“We have some really talented basketball players, some very skilled players who did not hit some shots (in the first game against the Mystics),” Stocks told her team’s official website. “We have to stick to our plan and stay within our rhythm, stay within the flow of our offense, and work together to get our scorers to score.”

Allie Quigley leads the Sky with 14.8 points per game. Diamond DeShields (12.6) and Cheyenne Parker (11.5) also are averaging in double digits this season.