Okay so my prediction that the Chicago Sky would win the WNBA Finals in a 3-game sweep didn’t come true after they lost to the Phoenix Mercury on Wednesday in overtime. BUT, and this is a big BUT – the Sky did sweep the floor with the Mercury tonight in a major blowout beating Phoenix 86-50.
It was complete domination on both ends of the floor as the Sky scored at will and played ferocious defense that held the Mercury to some of that franchise’s lowest scores in team’s history. The Sky’s defensive prowess held Brittney Griner to just four first half points on 1 of 8 shooting after she scored 29 in the Mercury’s overtime win on Wednesday. Diana Taurasi was also a no-show tonight with only 5 points. Griner finished with 16 points and was the only player for Phoenix trying to keep them in the game with little help from her teammates. It was if there was an invisible shield over the basket for Phoenix as shot after shot rolled off the rim or bounced haplessly on the backboard. Tons of one and dones also contributed to the poor shooting by Phoenix.
The 22-point halftime lead matched the biggest ever in the WNBA Finals, equaling the mark held by Phoenix, ironically, which the Mercury did in 2014 in Game 1 against Chicago. Phoenix shot a WNBA Finals record low 25.8% from the field (16-for-62) while Chicago was an even 50% (30-for-60).
Kahleah Copper led the Sky’s scoring barrage with 22 points, Candace Parker had 13, Allie Quigley 9 points, Courtney Vandersloot 4, Azura Stevens added 6 points while Diamond DeShields came off the bench and tossed in 11 points while fellow bench player Dana Evans added 9 more points. For Phoenix, only Brittney Griner scored in double figures with 16 and Skylar Diggins-Smith was held to a paltry 7 points and Diana Taurasi’s even more paltry 5 points.
Throw in a packed Wintrust Arena filled with screaming fans and a sprinkling of celebrities from the political and sports worlds, and a team hell bent on winning and you come up with a decisive game 3 victory for the Sky. Game 4 on Sunday could lead to the Sky clinching the WNBA Championship but beware – Phoenix could rise from the ashes after tonight’s drubbing. But the Mercury look tired on both ends of the floor and the Sky players seem filled with boundless energy so beware because this Chicago Sky team is on a mission and I do believe that mission will be accomplished on Sunday afternoon in Chi-Town. BRAVO – Chicago Sky – tonight’s game was a true masterclass in flawless professional basketball.
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