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Chicago Sky vs. New York Liberty Pick & Prediction AUGUST 23rd 2022

WNBA | BASKETBALL
TV:
Logo Chicago Sky
VS
Logo New York Liberty
0
OPENNER
168.5

-7 -110
CURRENT
167.5o -107

-120
MONEYLINE
+100

90
SCORE
72

In scoring the final 13 points of Game 1 to take a 1-0 lead on the Chicago Sky in a best-of-three WNBA first-round series, the New York Liberty resembled a poised defending champion, instead of the opponent of one.

In establishing a 31-10 first quarter lead en route to a 100-62 rout in Game 2 on Saturday, it was Chicago that looked ready to make it back-to-back titles and New York that looked ill-prepared for prime time.

 


Which team will settle into what role for Tuesday night's win-or-else Game 3 in Brooklyn? Will it be the second-seeded Sky or the seventh-seeded Liberty to earn ticket into the semifinals?

One thing's for certain: New York coach Sandy Brondello wants her team to be on point from the opening tip.

"We just got to get back to what our identity is and doing the little things harder and better, and committing to that," Brondello said. "We have to get off to a better start. We got to execute the scout."


That means not falling behind by 21 points after 10 minutes, initiating instead of reacting, and stringing together stops on defense to get the home crowd engaged. It also means getting more than 23 points out of their starters.

By contrast, Chicago's Kahleah Copper nearly outscored the Liberty starting five by herself in Game 2, pumping in a game-high 20 points to lead five players in double figures. The Sky were 51.3 percent from the field, dominated the boards 45-28 and bagged 14 steals with 19 turnovers.

The victory served to reinforce the Sky's belief that they can repeat last fall's unexpected championship.

"The motivation is a little different just because we do feel like we have another level," Chicago point guard Courtney Vandersloot said. "We haven't really put it all together yet. Our ceiling is so high."


The winner of this series will meet either the Connecticut Sun or Dallas Wings in the next round. That series will be decided Wednesday night at Arlington, Texas.

--Field Level Media

PREDICTION
Chicago Sky
87
80
New York Liberty

Chicago Sky vs. New York Liberty

Azura Stevens pumped in a game-high 25 points Thursday night as the Chicago Sky carved up the New York Liberty for a 101-85 win in Bradenton, Fla.

Stevens scored her points efficiently, canning 10-of-18 field goal attempts as Chicago (9-4) sank 52.5 percent overall. The Sky also bombed away nicely, drilling 11-of-23 3-pointers. They enjoyed an assist-turnover ratio of 2-to-1 with 24 helpers and 12 giveaways.

Allie Quigley and Courtney Vandersloot each added 19 points, with Vandersloot also dishing out 10 assists. Kahleah Copper chipped in 14 points and Ruthy Hebard came off the bench to kick in 11.

Five players scored in double figures for New York (1-11), led by 18 points from reserve Jazmine Jones. Kia Nurse added 17, Kiah Stokes hit for 14 points, Layshia Clarendon tallied 12 and Amanda Zahui B chipped in 11 points.

The only hint of suspense in the fourth quarter was whether Chicago would reach triple figures for the second time this year. It did so on Hebard's baseline jumper with 1:46 left.

New York got off to a start that belied its league-worst record. The Liberty opened up an 11-6 lead when Stokes took Jones' pass on a sharp cut into the lane and converted a layup. But Chicago fought back and went on a 15-6 run that gave it a 23-21 edge after a quarter.

The second quarter was a defense-optional affair, particularly when the Sky had possession. They rattled off a 10-2 spurt for a 38-29 advantage at the 5:49 mark when Vandersloot fed Hebard for a layup.

Chicago then poured in 17 points over the last 4:02 of the half, with Quigley capping that explosion with a 3-pointer from the left wing that gave it a 57-44 cushion at intermission.

In the third quarter, the Sky easily kept New York at arm's length, maintaining at least a 10-point lead throughout. The margin reached 76-59 when Stevens connected for a 3-point play at the 3:25 mark, and was 81-67 after three quarters.

--Field Level Media
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