Sky's Elena Delle Donne wins WNBA MVP


Sky's Elena Delle Donne wins WNBA MVP

Chicago has a new Most Valuable Player. 

Sky forward Elena Delle Donne was named WNBA MVP, the league announced on Wednesday.

Delle Donne, 26, won the WNBA regular-season scoring title after averaging 23.4 points per game to go along with 8.4 rebounds and two blocks per game. Delle Donne also shot a league-high 95 percent from the free-throw line. She played in a career-high 31 games this season, helping lead the Sky to 21 wins, which is their second-most in franchise history.

"I would say my biggest accomplishment was just becoming more of a leader," Delle Donne said in a live ESPN interview.

“That's what we needed on this team. We have a pretty young team and that's where we kind of faltered before and unfortunately weren't able to get where we wanted to in the playoffs. I think my leadership as a whole has been what's impressed me the most and been the biggest challenge for me."

[INSIDE LOOK: Elena Delle Donne wants to step up as role model]

Delle Donne is only a year removed from a rough 2014 season in which she missed over half of the Sky's regular-season games with a recurrence of Lyme Disease and a back injury during the playoffs.

Four-time NBA MVP LeBron James tweeted his congratulations to Delle Donne.

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The Sky open up the 2015 WNBA playoffs when they host the Indiana Fever at the UIC Pavilion at 7 p.m. Thursday night.

"WNBA championship is by far the biggest goal and the playoffs are starting tomorrow, so it's right around the corner and that would by far be the most amazing thing to bring home to Chicago."   

Sky continue early season struggles in loss to Sun


Sky continue early season struggles in loss to Sun

ROSEMONT — Jonquel Jones scored 19 of her career-high 23 points in the second half and finished with 21 rebounds to help the Connecticut Sun beat the Chicago Sky 97-79 on Sunday night.

Jones, who set her previous career best of 20 rebounds on May 13, became the 12th player in WNBA history with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds in a game. Alyssa Thomas had 17 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals and Lynetta Kizer scored 16 with seven rebounds for Connecticut (1-4), which won its first game of the season.

Kizer’s jumper midway through the first quarter made it 14-13 and the Sun led the rest of the way. Jessica Breland hit two free throws to pull Chicago (1-5) within four with 4:37 left in the third, but Jones scored seven points during a 10-3 run over the next three-plus minutes and the Sky got no closer.

Tamera Young led Chicago with 17 points. She has at least one made 3-pointer in each of the last five games after going nearly five calendar years (June 23, 2011) since her last 3.

Elena Delle Donne returns to Chicago, helps Mystics take down Sky

Elena Delle Donne returns to Chicago, helps Mystics take down Sky

ROSEMONT — Elena Delle Donne scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds in her return to Chicago, and the Washington Mystics beat the Sky 82-67 on Wednesday.

The 2015 MVP asked to be traded in the offseason after four seasons with the Sky. She opened the scoring with a turnaround jumper from the free-throw line and finished 7-for-15 from the floor.

"Definitely feels weird coming in here, being in the guest locker room, being on the other bench and all," Delle Donne said. "But my teammates, they've been great and even in the locker room they're like, 'How you feeling? You good, you good?' Just checking on me, and that made me relax."

Neither team led by more than six points in the first three quarters, but Washington broke it open early in the fourth quarter with a 14-6 spurt. Delle Donne had six points during the span, Ivory Latta and Natasha Cloud each hit a 3-pointer, and the Mystics' lead didn't drop below eight points the rest of the way.

Tierra Ruffin-Pratt added 15 points and 10 rebounds for Washington, ranked sixth in the AP power poll. Reserve Tianna Hawkins scored 12 points and grabbed nine boards.

The Mystics shot only 40 percent but had 19 assists on 29 field goals.

"That's one of the best parts about our team is that we do move the ball well," Washington coach Mike Thibault said. "We're unselfish and we try to find the open man. If we had hit some 3s like we normally can, we might have had a few more."

Cappie Pondexter led the 10th-ranked Sky with 17 points and 10 assists. She also moved into seventh on the WNBA career assists list. Stefanie Dolson had 13 points and 11 rebounds against her former team, and Allie Quigley also scored 13 — all in the first half. Starting point guard Courtney Vandersloot missed her fourth game.

Quigley scored eight of the Sky's first 15 points in her first game of the season since returning from Turkey, and the Sky trailed 43-41 at halftime after shooting just 33 percent.