With 8.2 assists per game, Sky point guard Courtney Vandersloot is the second-best playmaker in the WNBA.
But every now and then, Vandersloot needs her teammates to give her an assist. That happened Friday night at the Allstate Arena in the third quarter against the Connecticut Sun, albeit not in the traditional sense.
Forwards Elena Delle Donne and Tamera Young wound up assisting Vandersloot off the floor, each of them carrying a leg as Vandersloot "sat" between them, unable to walk on her own after getting her right foot twisted up under a defender.
"I just wanted them to carry me (off the floor)," Vandersloot joked after the Sky's breezy 101-82 victory over Connecticut.
"Yeah, she was tired," laughed Delle Donne, who poured in a game-high 28 points, despite being involved in a nasty head-to-head collision with Sun guard Katie Douglas early in the first half.
While stretched out on the bench, Vandersloot got her ankle retaped. Then, she did a few test jumps and lateral movements behind the bench. To keep loose, she then hopped on the stationary bike for a few minutes.
Vandersloot eventually returned to the game to assist on a few more baskets.
"It's all good," Vandersloot said of her ankle in her usual understated fashion.
Vandersloot didn't score against the Sun but finished with a Sky-record 13 assists, breaking her old record of 11 assists. She got a career-high 17 assists in a game while in college at Gonzaga, and Delle Donne is confident Vandersloot will exceed that this season.
"We'll get that," Delle Donne said matter-of-factly.
"Fine with me," Sky coach Pokey Chatman said with a smile.
Vandersloot wasn't the only playmaker against the Sun. As a team, the unselfish Sky (5-1) rolled up 30 assists on 39 field goals.
"I think (being able to pile up the assists) is just because I have so many options out there, and having Elena out there helps a lot too because her defender doesn't help, and that creates a lot," Vandersloot said. "It opens the floor, it gives me some more space to work and I have players who are making baskets."
The Sky, up by as many as 24 points, got a career-high 18 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists from forward Jessica Breland. It was her fourth double-double of the season, which leads the WNBA. Guard Allie Quigley out of DePaul came off the bench to tie her career-scoring mark with 15 points, which included a 2-for-4 effort from 3-point range.
Connecticut (1-5) got double-figure scoring out of five players and was led by reserve Kelsey Bone with 20 points.