The Washington Mystics will look to avert a season-high losing skid on Sunday afternoon when they host the Chicago Sky.
The Mystics (13-16) lost their third game in a row for the second time this season following a 113-89 setback against the high-octane Las Vegas Aces on Friday.
Elena Delle Donne sat out her 11th straight game on Friday due to an ankle injury, though her return to the court appears to be close. The two-time WNBA MVP reportedly played at full speed in practice on Thursday and showed no physical ill effects of the injury that has kept her sidelined since she played 13 minutes July 9 against the Connecticut Sun.
That said, Delle Donne admitted that she has to overcome a few mental obstacles in her return to game action.
"I feel a lot more confident, but still a little bit of like, there's a lot of bodies rebounding," Delle Donne told The Washington Post on Thursday. "That was something today I was thinking about a little too much. All right, I've got to do it a couple of times and see it's fine, be able to be in attack mode and not that, like, ‘Ugh, there's feet around me' mode."
The Mystics have lost eight of their past 10 overall and 11 of 16 since Shakira Austin injured her hip on June 25.
Seventh-place Washington, which defeated Chicago in a home-and-home series in June, is nursing a one-game lead over the Sky (12-17).
Chicago fell for the second straight time and 14th in 21 outings with an 89-73 setback to the New York Liberty on Friday.
Despite his team's troubles, Sky interim coach/general manager Emre Vatansever kept a positive outlook.
"When you look at the fifth and sixth seeds, you only have three wins (separating us)," Vatansever said, per the Chicago Sun-Times. "We're right there."
Alanna Smith scored 19 points and Courtney Williams collected 10 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for the Sky against the Liberty.
—Field Level Media