Saturday, November 27, 2021

Sky shut down Mercury, move to brink of WNBA title

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Kahleah Copper scored 22 points and the Chicago Sky clamped down on the visiting Phoenix Mercury to take a 2-1 lead in the WNBA Finals with an 86-50 victory on Friday night.

The Sun bounced back from a 91-86 overtime loss to move within one victory of their first WNBA title. Game 4 of the best-of-five series will be Sunday evening in Chicago, live on Sky Sports Arena from 8pm.

The Sky opened a nine-point lead at the end of the first quarter and expanded it to 22 points heading into halftime.

Candace Parker added 13 points, Diamond DeShields scored 11 off the bench and Courtney Vandersloot had 10 assists for Chicago.

Brittney Griner scored 16 to lead Phoenix, but Diana Taurasi had just five points and Skylar Diggins-Smith seven.

The Sun held the Mercury to 25.8 per cent shooting from the floor, including 25 per cent from three-point range. Taurasi was 1-10 from the field, including 1-8 on three-point tries, and Diggins-Smith was 2-9, including 1-4 from long distance.

The Mercury scored the first four points of the third quarter, but the Sky scored the next four and Azura Stevens’ basket soon extended the lead to 56-32.

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Chicago led by 26 points on two occasions before holding a 62-38 edge at the end of the third quarter.

Parker and Vandersloot had two baskets each as Chicago opened an early 11-4 lead.

Phoenix got within four, but Copper had five points late in the quarter as the Sky took a 20-11 lead into the second.

Allie Quigley and Copper scored six points each as Chicago extended its lead to 35-16.

Taurasi responded with a three-pointer, but the Sky built the lead to 21 points. Diggins-Smith made a three-pointer for the Mercury before Chicago scored the final four points to take a 46-24 halftime lead. Copper had 20 points at the break.

The 22-point halftime margin tied a WNBA Finals record set by the Mercury against the Sky in Game 1 of the 2014 finals.

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