A great comeback comes at a great cost for Dallas.
DALLAS—So what do you say to your team after the Wings fell behind by 24 points and enter the locker room down, 55-36?
“I pretty much had my tie off when I was talking to them at halftime,” Wings coach Fred Williams told High Post Hoops. “I was upset about a few things that we didn’t communicate on defensively.”
What was said in the Dallas Wings locker room had to be a miracle, leading to a remarkable turnaround, though the Chicago Sky held on to win, 92-91.
As soon as the third quarter got underway, it looked as if there was a whole different team out on the floor. You could see the change in focus, the heightened intensity, and determination to get back into the game. Skylar Diggins-Smith missed most of the second quarter due to an injury, but she came out ready to set the pace. With 8:17 left in the third, Cambage got a commanding rebound, and one to pull the Wings within 15. After the free throw the Wings forced the Sky into a shot clock violation which led to head coach Amber Stocks calling a time out. Cambage’s dominance in the third quarter was Dallas’ saving grace.
“We didn’t want to be embarrassed on our home court, so we got it together and came out at halftime,” Cambage told reporters after the game.
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From the very beginning the Sky were dominating the Wings. They were shooting about 65% and got up early by 13 points. Dallas couldn’t buy a stop and It seems as though the Sky were getting layups with ease. Gabby Williams was the Wings’ biggest nightmare. The rookie recorded 8 points, 2 steals and 4 rebounds. Meanwhile, the Wings weren’t closing the gap at all. But it is hard to do that when you only shoot 33%.
Dallas has a tendency to not come out strong to start games. It looked as though their chemistry was off, and the missed shots had started to take a toll. The Wings still had not woken up in the next ten minutes of the game so they headed into the locker room down by 19 at the half.
The game was very close for the remainder of the way. Doubling Cambage was apart of the Sky’s game plan, so it was very physical down in the post. Midway through the remaining period, Liz picked up her seventh technical foul. Dallas played through it and came back from a 24 point deficit, to now being down one with 30 seconds left in the game. Dallas inbounded the ball to Diggins-Smith, she surveyed, and tosses a lob to Cambage. Only thing is, her lob was way off and sailed out of bounds.
Now, the Wings had to buckle down and get a stop. The play call was for Diamond DeShields to penetrate to the basket because she had been so effective all game. DeShields got in the lane, shot the layup, but missed. Ironically, Cheyenne Parker was right there for the put back to ultimately win the game for the Chicago Sky. The Sky had given up 19 offensive rebounds to the Wings, but that is the exact fundamental that won the game for them.
Cambage led the Wings with 33 points,13 rebounds and four blocks. Glory Johnson scored 11 points and grabbed a season-high 14 rebounds. Allisha Gray scored12 points, dishing out 10 assists and grabbing eight boards. Skylar Diggins-Smith also added 15 points.
A lot of learning could come from this game, one of those lessons being how to play without Liz Cambage as she will sit out their next game against the Indiana Fever. A team in need of every win for playoff positioning will have to figure out how to get one without their leading scorer.