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updated: 6/10/2014 11:12 PM

Sky can't seem to escape injury bug, fall to Storm

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Plus one, minus two.

That's Chicago Sky math these days.

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All-star guard Epiphanny Prince, who sat out the start of the season due to personal reasons, made her Allstate Arena debut Tuesday night against the Seattle Storm.

And yet the Sky was short-handed again.

Forwards Elena Delle Donne and Jessica Breland suddenly found themselves on the bench in street clothes.

Delle Donne, the Eastern Conference player of the month for May, is fighting a flare-up of her much-documented Lyme disease. Breland was on crutches nursing a nagging shin injury.

Prince, who came off the bench and scored 18 points in 28 minutes certainly was a big plus, but not big enough to compensate for those big minuses. Seattle edged the short-handed Sky 80-76, extending the Sky's current skid to three straight games.

"I would have liked to win, but overall I felt pretty good out there," said Prince, who was battling mental exhaustion from year-round basketball without a break. "I think if I just keep playing, I'll keep progressing each day.

"It felt good to be out there; it felt good in the last game, too (Saturday in Atlanta in her first game back), even though I played only nine minutes there.

"I wanted the ball at the end of the game today. I wanted to try to make something happen."

Prince, showing signs of her old clutch self, did just that. She helped the Sky (5-4) cut down a deficit that had ballooned to as many as 17 points by hitting some tough shots down the stretch. The Sky outscored Seattle 22-18 in the fourth quarter as Prince scored 12 points, 10 in the final five minutes.

"It comes in a loss, but she's obviously an (important) dimension out there," Sky coach Pokey Chatman said of Prince.

Rookie center Markeisha Gatling also gave the Sky a lift. She came off the bench to score a career-high 15 points, most coming late in the second half. She also grabbed 10 rebounds.

Tamera Young (10 points) was the only other player to reach double figures for the Sky, which clearly was missing Delle Donne and Breland, its top two scorers.

The Sky also still is without all-star center Sylvia Fowles (hip).

"I've had my better days," Delle Donne said of her health. "But I'm all right. It's nothing I haven't gone through before. I just have to keep fighting the battle."

Seattle, coming off an upset win over the defending WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx, got double figures from three players. The Storm (4-6) was led by Tanisha Wright with 17 points. Camille Little had 13 points, and Sue Bird added 12.

pbabcock@dailyherald.com

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