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Emma Meesseman had the ibuprofen to bring the Fever down on Thursday evening, as the Sky rolled to yet another victory, 93-84. The Sky bounced back from an 81-78 loss to the Minnesota Lynx on Wednesday, which ended Chicago’s then-five game win streak.
Meesseman earned player of the game accolades. She finished with 20 points, nine rebounds, and five assists. She shot 9 for 13 from the field, and was perfect at the free throw line, making both of her attempts. The former Finals MVP has made a monumental impact on the Sky this season. Meesseman’s 54.2 field goal percentage leads the squad; she’s also putting up an average of 12.2 points a game.
“We’re getting our chemistry down. Roles are more solidified. We’re playing with a sense of urgency, and we’re coming in the form of who we want to be,” Coach James Wade told reporters in a press game conference on Thursday night.
Allie Quigley, Candace Parker, and Azurá Stevens all came up with points in double figures; Stevens contributed 16 points from off the bench and has been a strong sixth woman contender from the jump. Sharp shooting has been a cornerstone for this strong first half. As a team, the Sky shot 54.8 percent from the field. Going into this game, they led the WNBA in field goal percentage at 47.8 percent. The Sky also lead the WNBA in assists at 24 per game; on Thursday, they put up 25 as a team.
This was the final regular-season matchup between the two clubs. Rookie NaLyssa Smith put up 20 points; she scored 12 of the Fever’s 15 first-quarter points. She also reached a season-high with three three-pointers in a game. Kelsey Mitchell was Indiana’s top scorer with 27. Mitchell and Smith combined to score 28 of the team’s overall 38 points in the first half.
With this victory, the Sky have secured home-court advantage for the final game for the Commissioner’s Cup on July 26, where they’ll face the top-ranked Las Vegas Aces. The Sky are now 16-6, and hold a two-game lead in the Eastern Conference over the Connecticut Sun.
Up next: The All-Star Game
With the first half of the season in the rear view mirror, Chicago now becomes the epicenter of the WNBA universe this weekend as Wintrust Arena will host the brightest stars of the league.
Along with coach James Wade, the Sky will feature four players in Meesseman, Parker, Kahleah Copper, and Courtney Vandersloot at the All-Star Game. You can catch the game Sunday at 12 PM CT, on ABC. Allie Quigley will make what could be her last appearance in the 3-point competition; those buckets will fly at Wintrust at 2 PM CT on Saturday.
Sky players plan on showing up, and showing loud for their All-Star teammates. Azurà Stevens told reporters that the entire team plans on attending the game, but also revealed via Twitter that she will be participating in the Skills competition, bringing the total Sky participation up to seven.
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