WNBA: Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi help Mercury even Finals in OT
Brittney Griner scored 29 points and Diana Taurasi had eight of her 20 points in overtime as the host Phoenix Mercury evened the WNBA Finals at 1-1 with a 91-86 victory over the Chicago Sky on Wednesday night.
Skylar Diggins-Smith contributed 13 points and 12 assists and Shey Peddy scored 10 for the fifth-seeded Mercury.
Games 3 and 4 of the best-of-five series will be played in Chicago on Friday and Sunday.
Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot had 20 points, 14 assists and five steals and forced overtime with a winding drive and layup in the final seconds of regulation. Allie Quigley scored 19, Kahleah Copper had 15 points and nine rebounds and Candace Parker added 13 points with nine boards for the sixth-seeded Sky.
Taurasi started the overtime scoring with a four-point play, and Diggins-Smith followed with a basket for an 85-79 Mercury lead.
Quigley’s 3-pointer started a 7-1 run that pulled Chicago even with 2:20 left.
Taurasi’s 3-pointer nearly a minute later and Diggins-Smith’s layup with 12.8 seconds remaining gave the Mercury a 91-86 lead. Taurasi scored 18 of her 20 points after halftime.
Quigley’s basket started the third-quarter scoring and broke a 40-all halftime tie before the Mercury scored the next four points.
Parker scored seven points during a 9-0 run that gave Chicago a 51-44 lead.
Vandersloot scored eight points and the Sky led by as many as eight before holding a 63-57 lead at the end of the period.
Taurasi made two 3-pointers as Phoenix pulled ahead 65-63 and again took a lead at 70-69 on Griner’s three-point play.
Quigley’s 3-pointer put Chicago back on top before baskets by Brianna Turner and Griner gave Phoenix a 74-72 lead with 2:46 left.
Vandersloot’s layup tied the score before baskets by Griner and Peddy gave the Mercury a 78-74 lead with 27.4 seconds left.
Copper’s three-point play pulled the Sky within 78-77 with 14.1 seconds left.
Peddy, a career 96.2 percent free-throw shooter, made one of two free throws before Vandersloot’s layup forced overtime.
Chicago scored the first five points and held a 26-20 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Copper beat the buzzer with a basket that pulled the Sky even at 40 at halftime.
–Field Level Media