8:00 PM ET, August 11, 2007
In barely more than a month, the Connecticut Sun have surged back into the playoff picture. Meanwhile, the Chicago Sky's chances for their first playoff berth are fading.With just a few regular-season games remaining, both Connecticut (16-13) and Chicago (12-18) look to improve their playoff positioning when they meet on Saturday at the UIC Pavilion.Connecticut, bidding for its fifth consecutive postseason appearance, is third in the Eastern Conference -- seven games behind first-place Detroit and 2 1-2 back of Indiana -- with five games left in the regular season.The Sun, though, had their four-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday with a 81-79 home defeat to Sacramento.The Sun rallied from a seven-point deficit in the final two minutes, but Lindsay Whalen missed a layup as time expired.Nykesha Sales and Whalen each scored 17 points for Connecticut. Asjha Jones had 13 and added 6 rebounds, but also got called for a costly technical foul with 2:04 remaining."I think Asjha's technical was out of frustration," said Sun coach Mike Thibault, who also drew a technical. "I thought we kept playing pretty dang hard."The defeat dropped the Sun, who opened the season 6-11, to 10-2 since July 7.Over that same span, Chicago has dropped 10 of its last 14 games, including a 74-56 defeat at Connecticut on July 31. The second-year Sky have lost two of three against the Sun this year and are 1-5 in the all-time series.Chicago has four regular-season games left to secure its first postseason appearance, but lost an opportunity to move up in the standings after a 75-70 double-overtime defeat to Indiana on Tuesday.The loss moved the Sky into last place in the East, one-half game behind New York and 2 1/2 games behind Washington for the fourth and final playoff spot."It's possible. We just have to go out and work hard and stay focused," Dominique Canty told the Sky's official Web site. "We just have to do the things that we do best and that will take care of itself."Chastity Melvin led all scorers on Tuesday with a season-high 26 points and added 10 rebounds for her second straight double-double as the Sky lost their fourth straight game overall and second in a row at home.Candice Dupree set a franchise record with 20 rebounds, but matched a season-low with four points on 2-for-14 shooting. The second-year forward, who leads Chicago in both points (16.9) and rebounds (8.0) per game, looks to regain her scoring touch against Connecticut.Dupree also had only four points in the July 31 loss to the Sun.