Chicago Sky gives Phoenix Mercury biggest loss in WNBA Finals history in Game 3 win – .

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Chicago Sky gives Phoenix Mercury biggest loss in WNBA Finals history in Game 3 win – .


CHICAGO – By the fourth quarter of Game 3 of Friday’s WNBA Finals, much of the electrical energy had dissipated in a sold-out Wintrust Arena.

Not because Chicago Sky’s hometown was in trouble. On the contrary, they’re just one win away from the first WNBA title in franchise history. It’s just that the Sky dominated the Phoenix Mercury so much in an 86-50 win that Chicago fans were able to relax for much of the second half.

Both teams gave plenty of time to their reserves, and it was just a matter of running out of time to reach the final margin of 36 points, which is the largest in WNBA Finals history.

“I’m not focusing on what we won, it’s just the way we played,” Chicago coach James Wade said. “We know we have to stay focused. I want them to feel good about tonight’s win, but after tonight we really have to focus on the next game. We have to take care of business. “

The Sky, which entered the league as an expansion team in 2006, will host the Mercury in Game 4 at 3 p.m. ET Sunday on ESPN. They lead the series in the best of five 2-1, and a victory will make Chicago the 10th WNBA franchise to win a championship as the league celebrates its 25th season this year.

Phoenix has three titles, but the fourth seems a long way off after everything went wrong for the Mercury on Friday. Their 25.8 shooting percentage from the field was a low for the WNBA Finals.

“We can’t be worse than 50,” Phoenix goaltender Diana Taurasi said of Mercury’s low season points scoring, which is also the second-lowest total in a WNBA Finals game. . “We’ll be better than 50. You can take that to Vegas.” “

Candace Parker of Chicago has been in this situation before. In 2016 and 2017, while in Los Angeles, the Sparks faced a WNBA 4 final game at home with a chance to win a championship. They lost both. In 2016, they still won the title in Game 5 on the road in Minnesota. In 2017, however, they lost the championship to the Lynx.

The last thing Heaven wants now is to go back to Phoenix.

“That’s exactly where we want to be, to have an opportunity,” said Parker, who returned to her hometown of Chicago this season as a free agent. “But it’s a great team. The most important thing is not to get confused. It is crucial for us to have the same mentality that we had before this game. “

Every Sky player scored on Friday, led by Kahleah Copper with 22 points. Courtney Vandersloot had 10 assists and passed Seattle’s Sue Bird for most of the WNBA playoff games with double-digit (10) assists. Vandersloot also now has a WNBA playoff record of 87 assists this year.

The Sky could have been shaken up after losing Game 2 in overtime to Phoenix on Wednesday. Instead, they dominated on Friday almost from the toe, tying the final record for the biggest halftime lead (22). The last time a team had such a lead at the break in a WNBA Finals game, those same two franchises were involved – Game 1 of the 2014 Finals, when Phoenix had the big margin. The Mercury won that match and swept the series for their third championship.

Taurasi and Brittney Griner were part of that Mercury squad, and if they are to force a Game 5 this year, the two will have to help fix what was wrong with Mercury’s offense on Friday. Griner was the only Phoenix player to score in double digits, but she was just 7 of 17 for 16 points. Guards Taurasi and Skylar Diggins-Smith combined the 3 of 19 shot from the field.

“Today, honestly, nothing worked,” Taurasi said. “Inside, outside, they really got us out of whatever we wanted to run. Diggins-Smith said, “It was ugly as hell. Give them all the credit and let’s play Sunday. We didn’t lose the series tonight. We have the opportunity to get him out of the mud. We have I have to bring it. This is what you want.

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