Sky, Storm go different ways after regular-season finale
The Chicago Sky will sit out the WNBA playoffs as they close out a disappointing 2017 season on Sunday hoping to avoid a season-ending four-game losing streak.
Chicago (12-21) saw its slim postseason hopes dashed with Friday’s 110-87 blowout loss at league-leading Minnesota.
The Sky will host the playoff-bound Seattle Storm (14-19) in Sunday’s season finale. The Storm secured the eighth and final berth despite a 110-106 overtime loss at Washington on Friday night.
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Losses by Chicago and Atlanta put the Storm in the playoffs.
“Everyone is kind of mad about the season and what we could’ve done earlier on to be in a better position right now,” Chicago guard Allie Quigley said. “But we do have a good future and hopefully we can take some time to get over this and get back to working.”
On Friday night, the Lynx jumped to a 29-19 lead over the Sky after the first quarter and extended the advantage to 16 by halftime. Minnesota center Sylvia Fowles, a former Sky standout, led the Lynx with a 20-point, 10-rebound game.
The Storm clinched a playoff berth as Sue Bird broke the WNBA career assist record, passing Ticha Penicheiro with her 2,600th career assist. Bird’s total sits at 2,610.
“If you are at the top of any statistical category, it says something about you as a player,” Bird wrote on her Twitter account after the game. “(I) would be remiss if I didn’t thank all the people that helped make this possible — my teammates.”
Seattle has four players averaging double figures in scoring, led by Breanna Stewart at 19.6 points. Jewell Loyd follows at 17.5 points, Crystal Langhorne is at 12.4 and Bird averages 10.2 points and a team-high 6.6 assists.
Quigley tops the Sky with a 16.4-point scoring average and Stefanie Dolson is next at 14.8 points. Courtney Vandersloot is also in double figures at 11.4 points.
Seattle would open the postseason at Washington next Wednesday according to a WNBA playoff scenario.
Chicago, meanwhile, missed the playoffs for the first time since 2012. The Sky reached the WNBA semifinals last season.