Sky open WNBA Finals with 91-77 win over Mercury

Kahleah Copper scored 21 factors, Allie Quigley added 18 and the hot-shooting Chicago Sky opened the WNBA Finals with a 91-77 win over the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday.

The Sky withstood Phoenix’s quick begin and took management with a 21-2 run spanning halftime to go up 17. Courtney Vandersloot had 12 factors and 11 assists, serving to Chicago shoot 53% and snatch home-court benefit from the Mercury within the best-of-five collection.

Game 2 is Wednesday in Phoenix.

The Mercury performed with out guards Kia Nurse (torn ACL) and Sophie Cunningham (left calf pressure), and the dearth of depth appeared to harm them towards one of many WNBA’s greatest offensive groups.


Brittney Griner had 20 factors and Diana Taurasi 17 for the Mercury, who pulled inside eight late earlier than working out of steam and time.

The 2021 WNBA Finals is the primary for each franchises for the reason that Mercury swept the Sky in 2014.

It’s additionally a showdown between two of the game’s all-time greats nonetheless on the prime of their video games.

A 3-time WNBA champion and the league’s all-time main scorer, the 39-year-old Taurasi took over down the stretch of Game 5 towards Las Vegas, scoring 14 of her 24 factors within the fourth quarter. She was voted the best participant within the WNBA’s 25-history by the followers in ceremony earlier than Game 1 of the finals.

Parker, a two-time league MVP, returned house to Chicago this season after taking part in her first 13 seasons in Los Angeles and has been a key cause the Sky reached the finals, ending with 17 factors, 9 rebounds and 7 assists within the clinching sport towards Connecticut within the semifinals. The 35-year-old was honored as one of many WNBA’s biggest gamers throughout a ceremony after the primary quarter of Game 1.

Taurasi kick began Phoenix’s sizzling begin to the ultimate with two early 3s, serving to the Mercury construct an early nine-point lead.

Parker led the Sky again, scoring 11 first-half factors whereas keying a late second quarter 17-0 run that put Chicago up 46-35 at halftime.

Chicago stretched the result in 17 within the third quarter earlier than Phoenix went on a 10-2 run to drag inside 52-45.

That’s as shut because the Mercury would get.

The Sky continued to drop in photographs, pushing the result in 86-66 halfway by the fourth quarter earlier than withstanding a late run by Phoenix’s reserves.


Game 2 is Wednesday in Phoenix.

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