Sky-Stars Preview

The Chicago Sky are looking to cap a three-game trip with a winning record ahead of possibly the biggest game of their season.

The San Antonio Stars are no doubt just happy to be playing after two days of rest.

These teams are battling to reach the playoffs in their respective conferences as they meet for the first time Tuesday night.

Chicago (10-15) opened this trip with Friday’s 79-75 win over Eastern Conference-leading Atlanta before falling 79-69 in Tulsa on Sunday.

The Sky are playing without star Elena Delle Donne due to Lyme disease and point guard Courtney Vandersloot because of a knee injury. Delle Donne has played only nine games, but could return for Thursday’s home contest against New York.

That game figures to be critical since the Liberty lead the Sky by one-half game for the fourth and final East postseason berth.

San Antonio (12-14) is trying to hold onto one of the West’s final two playoff berths, with the fifth-place Shock three games back.

The Stars seek to avoid a third straight defeat after a difficult weekend in which they fell 88-78 at Minnesota on Friday and 75-68 at home to Indiana the next night. They did not get back to San Antonio until Saturday afternoon to play the Fever that night.

”Well, we got to spend like 30 minutes at home, to get a shower in and stuff like that,” forward Sophia Malcolm-Young said. ”We knew our season was going to be like that. Everybody’s going through it, so we can’t really use it as an excuse.”

San Antonio shot 37.7 percent, making 5 of 20 3-pointers. Becky Hammon, playing at home for the first time since announcing she will retire at the end of the season, scored a team-high 18 points.

"We had a hard time scoring, we had a very hard time scoring," coach Dan Hughes said. "The shots were short, it was tough."

The Stars remain without former Sky guard Jia Perkins, out since June 26 with a right hamstring injury. Perkins is averaging 12.7 points in 15 games.

Chicago figures to have an edge with its frontcourt featuring center Sylvia Fowles, whose streak of seven straight double-doubles ended Sunday when she fouled out with eight points and nine boards. Fowles averages 9.8 rebounds as she faces a Stars team that ranks last in the WNBA in rebound margin at minus-4.2.

These teams have split the two-game season series the last three seasons. San Antonio ended a three-game home slide against Chicago with an 81-69 win June 7, 2013.