WNBA: On brink of first title, Sky look to ‘punch’ out Mercury


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The Chicago Sky are one victory away from their first WNBA championship.

Their record-setting 86-50 win on Friday night gave them a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series. They will be at home again for a potential clinching win Sunday afternoon.

“I was telling my team. I’m 0-2 in Game 4 closeouts at home,” Sky forward Candace Parker said. “I don’t want that to continue. We know they are a fantastic team and they’ll come out and be ready. (We’ve got to) come back stronger.”

Game 5, if necessary, would be Tuesday in Phoenix.

The Sky’s margin of victory in Game 3 was the largest ever in a WNBA Finals game and they held the Mercury to a Finals-worst 25.8 percent shooting clip. Chicago’s 22-point halftime lead was the largest in a Finals game since Phoenix’s edge against the Sky in Game 1 in 2014, the last time either team played for the title.

“(The Mercury) are a prideful team,” Sky coach James Wade said. “They’re going to come out and punch (in Game 4), but we’re going to punch, too.”

Phoenix has won three elimination games during this postseason.

“We got our butts kicked,” Mercury coach Sandy Brondello said. “We’ve got to be better.”

Phoenix’s 50 points were the second fewest in a Finals game and Brittney Griner (16 points) was the only Mercury scorer in double figures.

“We’ll be better than 50 (in Game 4), you can take that to Vegas,” joked Diana Taurasi, who had five points on 1-of-10 shooting. “Nothing worked. Inside, outside, they took us out of everything we wanted to run.”

The Sky outscored the Mercury 36-14 in the paint and forced 17 turnovers.

“All year we’ve faced adversity, and we have a veteran group,” Phoenix guard Skylar Diggins-Smith said. “We’ll look at it and see what changes we can make. We don’t have a choice. We’re going to come out with a different mindset next game, and we’re desperate. We’ve got to win.”

–Field Level Media


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