Chicago Sky set to win first WNBA title after knocking out Mercury in Game 3

CHICAGO – Kahleah Copper scored 20 of his 22 points in the first half and Chicago used a dominant defensive effort to achieve a record-breaking Phoenix Mercury 86-50 rout in Game 3 of the WNBA title on Friday night, pulling Sky away from a victory of the franchise’s first championship.

Chicago, which now has a 2-1 series lead, will look to close out the best of five series on Sunday.

“I was telling my team. I’m 0-2 at the end of Game 4 at home, ”said Candace Parker, who added 13 points. “I don’t want this to continue. We know they are a fantastic team and they will come out and be ready. Come back stronger.

Sky dominated on both sides, limiting Brittney Griner to just four points in the first half on 1 in 8 shooting after scoring 29 in Mercury’s overtime win on Wednesday. Chicago also took Diana Taurasi out of the game, keeping her five points on 1 in 10 shot. Griner finished with 16 points as their two nights ended early in the fourth quarter as Sky held onto the lead in the twenties. .

Copper set the tone early for Sky with seven points in the first quarter. She finished a 3-point game to give Chicago a 20-11 lead at the end of the first quarter. Copper was 5 of 5 off the line during the quarter, which was a drastic difference from Wednesday’s loss. Sky only attempted four free throws for the entire game.

“His energy is unmatched. its positivity is unmatched, ”said Parker of Copper. “You root him because he’s a good person. She gives us a boost when we need it on the biggest stage, showing the world what we already know in practice every day. “

The Sky did not slow down in the second quarter. They pushed the ball into transition with Allie Quigley and Stefanie Dolson scoring easy points in the paint to force a Mercury timeout as Sky extended the lead to 25-11 with 7:20 left in the second quarter. Copper continued Sky’s goal barrage with two three-pointers in just one minute to put them at 35-16. She closed the brilliant first half with another basket to give Sky a 46-24 lead at half-time.

The 22-point halftime lead was the biggest ever in the WNBA Finals, tying the Phoenix-held mark the Mercury made in 2014 in Game 1 against Chicago. That year was the last time either team entered the championship round.

“We got our butt kicked tonight,” said Phoenix coach Sandy Brondello. “It’s disappointing. They were really, really aggressive. We still have open looks and we missed them. We lost momentum and they gained confidence. It shook us up a bit. We have to be better. .

Quigley finished with nine points and Courtney Vandersloot finished the game with 10 assists for Chicago.

The Sky hosted the WNBA Finals for the first time since they made the final in 2014. But on Friday there was more star power led by Parker, who played in the western suburb of Naperville Central High. School before jumping into the national spotlight in Tennessee and then continuing his legacy in the WNBA. She joined Sky ahead of the 2021 season and she is now one win away from completing a remarkable homecoming.

About Ferdinand Caldwell

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