NBA

Moore, Lynx Pounce on Sky 85-64

On the brink of being eliminated from playoff contention, the Chicago Sky (10-19) fell to the Minnesota Lynx (15-13), 85-64. Lynx forward Maya Moore scored a game-high 31 points on 11 of 17 shooting. Minnesota’s starters accounted for 79 of its 85 points in the win.

On the Sky’s end of the spectrum, guard Allie Quigley scored a team-high 22 points while going 4-7 from beyond the arc. The rest of the team struggled to get things going on offense. Quigley and Cheyenne Parker were the only Sky players to shoot over 40% in the game.

“We couldn’t score,” said guard Courtney Vandersloot. “I mean that is what it comes down to. On our home court, we need to score more than 64 points.”

The Sky jumped out in front of the Lynx early with a 26-17 lead in the first quarter. Quigley and Vandersloot combined for 16 points while going 4-5 from deep. Chicago’s backcourt contained Moore who only got off two shots in the first quarter.

Sky head coach Amber Stokes had a simple game plan going in against Minnesota’s perennial all-star.

“Guard [Moore], get in her space, crowd her, limit her touches, and put pressure on the ball handlers to disrupt her ability to get to her sweet spot,” said Stokes.

Chicago executed that plan in the first quarter. The second quarter…not so much.

Moore started the second off hot with eight points in the first minute and 45 seconds of the quarter. She hit two quick threes and a tough fadeaway in the post to cut the Sky’s lead to 26-25. She would hit a three with less than a minute to cap off her 11-point quarter. Minnesota would outscore Chicago 22-12 in the second.

Despite giving up the lead, the Sky were only behind 39-38 going into the second half. However, that would quickly change.

The Lynx pummeled the Sky in the last two quarters. Minnesota outscored Chicago 46-26 to close out the victory. Moore managed to score 16 more points to stunt the Sky’s efforts. While the team didn’t generate any offense in the second half, Stokes didn’t think her squad’s effort was the issue.

“I wouldn’t say there was a lack of urgency by anyone on our team, but our flow was off. We had some good looks that didn’t go in, and they made a lot of tough shots.”

Click here for the full box score.

The Sky will take on the Connecticut Sun in its next game at home on Friday. Chicago is currently two games back of the final spot in the playoffs with five games to go in the regular season.

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