Disastrous 2nd quarter dooms Lynx in season opener
Copper scores 20 to lead Sky past Minnesota
Kahleah Copper recorded 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists to help the Chicago Sky post a 77-66 victory over the Minnesota Lynx on Friday night in the season opener for both teams at Minneapolis.
Alanna Smith scored 15 points on 5-of-5 shooting in her team debut. Elizabeth Williams, another newcomer, added 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting while Rebekah Gardner added 10 points for the Sky.
Chicago outscored the Lynx 22-3 in the second quarter for a 17-point halftime lead en route to the solid victory.
Napheesa Collier had 17 points and four blocked shots for Minnesota. Kayla McBride added 12 points for the Lynx, who committed 21 turnovers.
Minnesota's Diamond Miller, the No. 2 overall pick in this year's draft, had nine points in 22-plus minutes. She was 3-of-9 shooting and collected seven rebounds.
It was a strong opener for the Sky, who lost Candace Parker and Courtney Vandersloot as free agents in the offseason. In addition, 3-point specialist Allie Quigley is sitting out the season.
Chicago played without free-agent signee Isabelle Harrison due to a knee injury.
The Sky shot 43.1% from the field, including 9 of 24 from 3-point range. Smith made all three of her 3-point attempts.
Minnesota made 33.3% of its shots and was 6 of 24 from behind the arc.
The Lynx trailed by as many as 19 points in the third quarter but pulled within 71-60 on a basket by Jessica Shepard with six minutes left in the game.
However, Williams and Marina Mabrey responded with consecutive baskets to push the Chicago margin back to 15 with five minutes remaining.
Minnesota later scored six straight points to trail 75-66 on McBride's putback with 1:03 left. But Alanna Smith made two free throws with 55.7 seconds remaining as Chicago closed it out.
Copper had 12 first-half points as the Sky held a 44-27 lead at the break.
Minnesota was 1-of-15 shooting with 10 turnovers during the second period.
After Minnesota moved within 11 in the third quarter, the Sky scored 13 of the next 18 points to take a 19-point lead on Morgan Bertsch's layup with 1:02 left in the period. Bridget Carlton drained a trey with 4.5 seconds left as the Lynx trailed 65-49 entering the fourth quarter.
This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.