The Chicago Sky are confident they can lean on any of their players to rise to the occasion.
That was evident in their 80-68 win over the Los Angeles Sparks on Thursday, with Rebekah Gardner recording the first double-double of her career.
Gardner and the reigning WNBA champions look to keep the momentum going Saturday when they face the Dallas Wings in Arlington, Texas.
The Sky (18-6) have won three consecutive games and eight of their last nine overall to remain the top team in the East.
As for Gardner, her 18 points and 10 rebounds were pivotal on a night when Chicago star Candace Parker was held scoreless for the first time in her career.
“We try to balance it out and we need everyone to feel important,” coach James Wade told the Chicago Sun-Times. “You never know whose night it is. Tonight, it was our 32-year-old rookie’s night.”
Speaking of balance, Dallas (11-13) seemed to have that going for it as well in a 92-87 win over the Minnesota Lynx on Thursday.
Arike Ogunbowale lit up the scoreboard for 32 points. The Wings effectively spread the wealth as they tallied 25 assists, tied for their most in a game this season as they try to stay in the hunt for a playoff berth.
Ogunbowale likes where the team stands at this point and will get a playoff-like test Saturday against the Sky.
“No matter what, we are still in a good position. We can still finish out the season strong,” Ogunbowale said in a post-game press conference. “Playoffs is the goal. We have to play like every game like it’s to get into the playoffs.”
The Wings and Sky are meeting for the first time in the regular season. Dallas posted a 92-77 win over Chicago in a preseason game on April 25.
–Field Level Media