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Sky come out on top in 2021 WNBA Championship rematch with Mercury

2 years agoKarli Bell

Fans had Tuesday night’s game circled on the calendar – a rematch of the 2021 WNBA Championship. However, 226 days later, the outcome stayed the same as the Chicago Sky picked up the 73-70 win over the Phoenix Mercury.

The Sky led 72-70 with under 10 seconds to play. Off the inbounds, Phoenix’s Skylar Diggins-Smith drove in the paint but lost control of the ball. Sky guard Rebekah Gardner found the rock and pushed it up the floor before being fouled. Free throws lifted the Sky to the win over the Mercury, handing Phoenix its sixth straight loss.

“She makes winning plays,” head coach James Wade said about Gardner after the game. “The steal that she got on the sideline in front of our bench…I don’t know if there’s a lot of players that can make that play. That kind of gave us a spring boost to stay in plays.”

The Sky initially took the lead thanks to a Courtney Vandersloot lay-in on the baseline with 1:30 left in the contest. She led the way with a team-high and season-high 18 points, scoring 12 in the final quarter of play.

The Sky came out blazing early, starting on a 9-2 run to open the game thanks to Kahleah Copper and Allie Quigley. The Sky led by as much as 12 in the opening half. The Mercury had no answer as they were without Brittney Griner and lost Diana Taurasi with 3:43 left in second quarter when she was ejected with a double technical.

Phoenix came out shooting lights out in the second half, outscoring the Sky 31-16 in the third quarter, with a majority of those points coming from Tina Charles. She finished with a game-high 25 points.

Chicago opened up the fourth quarter with a couple of fast buckets to narrow the gap and finally found its shot with under 5 minutes to go. The Sky went off on a 7-0 run to make it a 1-point game with just under 3 minutes left, with Gardner mostly leading the way. She finished with 10 points off the bench. 

The Sky look to continue their winning ways when they hit the road to take on the Atlanta Dream. Tip time is set for 6:30 p.m. on Friday, June 3rd. You can watch the game on Marquee Sports Network.

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