Part of the reason former Sky star Elena Delle Donne wanted to be traded over the winter after four seasons in Chicago was that she wanted to get closer to home.
So the Sky sent her to the Washington Mystics, the closest WNBA team to her home state of Delaware.
At home from a location standpoint, Delle Donne is now starting to feel at home from a comfort standpoint with the Mystics, who manhandled the Sky Sunday night at Allstate Arena, 97-63. Delle Donne was one of five Washington players in double figures with 11 points.
The Mystics have the third-best record in the WNBA at 8-5. The Sky, which got a game-high 18 points from former DePaul guard Allie Quigley, drops to 3-10, the second-worst record in the league.
"I feel really good about (my transition in Washington)," said Delle Donne, the 2015 most valuable player of the WNBA. "I feel like they've really helped me defensively. I'm just really focused on that end and feel like I can disrupt and be an asset on the defensive end just as much as the offensive. That's been really nice improving on that and watching film with them and just trying to be a sponge."
As a whole, the Mystics did a number on the Sky defensively. After the Sky rolled up 27 first-quarter points, Washington clamped down and gave up only 7 points in the second quarter. The Mystics also forced the Sky into 23 turnovers for the game and a 38 percent shooting clip from the field.
"We gave a great effort after a rocky first four or five minutes," Washington coach Mike Thibault said. "We gave up layups but then called a timeout and buckled down on defense. We got our hands active and forced turnovers and when we play like that, we find each other for transition shots."
Former Sky guard Kristi Toliver led a red-hot Washington offense in the first half that ran up 61 points by halftime. She scored all 16 of her points before the break, going 4-for-4 from 3-point range.
Guard Tayler Hill, a likely all-star with Delle Donne, led Washington with 17 points while Tianna Hawkins and Natasha Cloud scored 15 points and 12 points respectively off the bench.
"I was very displeased with the first quarter, giving up 30 points to them in one quarter is tough," first-year Sky coach Amber Stocks said. "It just so happened that we were scoring the ball on the offensive end, so that kind of balanced it out. But that's not how we prepare ourselves (defensively)."
The Sky had been coming off its third win of the season, an 82-78 victory in Atlanta on Friday. Now the trick is to guard against the frustration that comes with such wild inconsistency.
"You just have to stay positive and learn from the mistakes that we make," said Sky center Stefanie Dolson, who came to Chicago from Washington in the Delle Donne trade. Dolson had 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting. "Yes, this was a bad game, but we just played Atlanta and played really well there. We've just got to take the good things and learn from the bad and just keep moving forward because we've got a long way to go. We've got a lot of games left."