Two teams trying to stay in the playoff hunt ahead of the Olympic break collide in Seattle on Sunday, when rookie star Breanna Stewart and the Storm host Elena Delle Donne and the Chicago Sky at KeyArena.
Seattle (8-13) sits in 10th place in the league standings. Chicago (9-12) is in sixth place. The top eight teams, regardless of conference, qualify for the postseason.
Both teams have been inconsistent, but are coming off wins, and would like to build momentum heading into the month-long Olympic break, which begins at the end of the week.
The Storm hammered the Washington Mystics 80-51 on Friday. Jewell Loyd scored 26 points, and Stewart had a big all-around game, scoring 10 points, handing out eight assists and grabbing seven rebounds.
The Storm honored former star Lauren Jackson by retiring her No. 15 jersey at Friday's win over the Mystics. Loyd said Jackson's presence helped inspire the blowout win. It was only Seattle's second victory in its last six games.
“It's huge,” Loyd told reporters after Friday's win. “Obviously having Lauren here made it a statement game and that just helped us in getting our momentum going for this next stretch.”
Stewart, the No. 1 overall draft pick, leads the Storm in scoring (19.0 points) and rebounding (9.6 rebounds). She was selected as the Best Female Athlete during last week's ESPYS and delivered a speech demanding equality for professional female athletes.
Delle Donne, the reigning WNBA MVP, is also having a banner campaign, averaging 20.8 points and 7.1 rebounds for the up-and-down Sky.
Chicago has alternated wins and losses in its last seven games and has not put together back-to-back wins since early June. The Sky pushed past the Dallas Wings in Friday home win. Delle Donne scored 24 points. They head to Phoenix on Tuesday, before returning home to host the Connecticut Sun ahead of the break.
This is the first meeting between the two teams this season. Chicago won both games last season against the Storm, including a 94-84 win in Seattle on Aug. 14.