8:00 PM ET, May 24, 2014
Allstate Arena, Glenview, IL
Elena Delle Donne's 27 points help Sky reach best start in team history
ROSEMONT, Ill. -- The Chicago Sky are still missing two starters yet haven't missed a beat.
Elena Delle Donne scored a season-high 27 points and the Sky (4-0) set a franchise mark for best start in a season with an 87-73 victory over the Atlanta Dream on Saturday night.
"We're thrilled to be 4-0 and have all W's," said Delle Donne. "But it's early and we have to continue to get better and improve. Even tonight there were some lapses that we can't have."
Chicago's previous best start was three wins to open last season.
Chicago guard Epiphanny Prince, who averaged 15 points per game last season, rejoined the team this week after a lengthy personal leave but didn't play Saturday. Also out is veteran center Sylvia Fowles, sidelined until June following offseason hip surgery.
Even without those two All-Stars, the Sky had more than enough to remain unbeaten. Allie Quigley scored 13 points, Courtney Vandersloot had 10 points and 11 assists while Courtney Clements and Markeisha Gatling each added 10 points.
Erika DeSouza led Atlanta with 18 points and 12 rebounds, Shoni Schimmel had 17.
The Sky led by as many as 11 points late in the third quarter on the way to a 65-57 advantage heading into the final 10 minutes. The Dream never got closer than eight points down the stretch.
Atlanta (2-1) was without guard Angel McCoughtry, a two-time WNBA All-Star. She was a late scratch after suffering an unspecified shoulder injury earlier Saturday. McCoughtry was averaging 24 points per game.
"She's better," said Dream coach Michael Cooper. "I think it was more of a precautionary measure for her because we play tomorrow. If that had been late in the season and we needed her, I'm sure she would have toughed it out."
Delle Donne scored 14 first half points as the Sky opened a 41-39 lead after two quarters. She converted a three-point play to force a 39-39 tie with 36.3 seconds showing, and Gatling drove for a layup with 5.2 seconds left to give the Sky the lead at the half.
Chicago never relinquished the lead in the second half and led by as many as 12 points in the fourth quarter.
Atlanta resumes play Sunday at home against Indiana, while Chicago hosts Minnesota on Monday.
ROSEMONT, IL - MAY 24: Courtney Vandersloot #22 of the Chicago Sky handles the ball against the Atlanta Dream on...(Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
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