MINNEAPOLIS -- After two subpar performances, Candice Dupree
hopes she can build on her latest effort.
Dupree matched her career high with 25 points and the Chicago
Sky beat the Minnesota Lynx 82-77 on Friday night for their first
win of the year.
Stacey Dales added 15 points and Armintie Price had 11 for the
Sky (1-2), who lost their first two games by at least 12 points.
Minnesota (0-4), which has lost its first four games for the
first time in franchise history, was led by Seimone Augustus' 31
points, one off her career best. Nicole Ohlde had 18 points and
Lindsey Harding added 16. Tiffany Stansbury, who was signed Friday
in hopes of adding an interior presence for the Lynx, had 13
rebounds, two off the franchise record.
Down by 14 points to start the final quarter, Minnesota rallied
within two points before Ohlde and Stansbury both missed in close
with 15 seconds to play. Chasity Melvin, acquired by the Sky in a
trade with Washington on Thursday, hit two free throws to secure
the win. She finished with five points and five rebounds.
Chicago coach Bo Overton said Melvin's presence was enough in
her first game with the team.
"She's going to be able to score, but just being in there and
rebounding and defended really helped us a lot. ... That really
helped Candice," he said. "I thought it opened it up for her."
Dupree scored 12 points at New York in the season opener, but
had just four in Tuesday's loss to Los Angeles. "I think I was
thinking too much, stressing too much, but a couple people told me
to just go out and play," she said.
The second-year player scored 13 points in a 21-6 run that gave
the Sky a 56-40 lead midway through the third quarter. Showing her
scoring range, she scored on a three-point play, a hook shot, three
short jumpers and another jumper from just outside the free throw
"She is as skilled as any post player in this league," Dales
said. "We needed to get her the ball more, we need to continue
getting her the ball."
A 3-pointer by Jia Perkins put the Sky up 64-47 late in the
quarter, their biggest lead of the game.
Harding, the first overall pick in the 2007 draft, scored 10 of
Minnesota's first 12 fourth-quarter points to get Minnesota within
71-63 with 6:09 to play.
A 3-pointer by Augustus, two free throws by Ohlde and another
Augustus jumper cut the Chicago lead to two with 46.9 seconds to
"If we can play all four quarters the way we played the last
quarter-and-a-half we can be a great team," Harding said.
Chicago shot 53.6 percent from the field after entering the game
last in the league at 35.8 percent.