The Merc’s for real y’all.
The Phoenix Mercury (15-3) defeated the Chicago Sky (8-12), 72-66 on the road to start their second half of the regular season on the right foot.
Both teams started the fourth quarter tied at 51. But Phoenix outscored Chicago in the fourth and never trailed. The Sky had a chance to make things interesting in the last minute when Allie Quigley made a layup with 1:01 remaining, to make the score 67-63. On the very next possession, Phoenix committed a turnover with 38 seconds with Epiphanny Prince stealing the ball. The clock was at 33 seconds left at that point.
Soon after, Dewanna Bonner stole the ball after Quigley made a bad pass when there were 33 seconds left. But inexplicably, the Sky did not immediately try to foul. When Chicago committed its next foul to get into the penalty with Diana Taurasi getting to the line, there were just 19 seconds left, and it was pretty much ball game at that point.
Taurasi led Phoenix with 19 points and five assists, with Brittney Griner and Candice Dupree both getting double doubles in points and rebounds. In fact, all five of Phoenix’s starters scored in double figures.
For the Sky, Sylvia Fowles had a good night with 23 points, 11 rebounds, 3 steals, and 3 blocks. Rookie Jamierra Faulkner also had a great night overall with 13 points on 6-of-14 shooting and 8 assists, but she also committed four turnovers.
After this game, the Phoenix Mercury has now won nine straight games, and despite a valiant effort by the Sky, this team isn’t letting down, at all.
As for Chicago, this loss now puts them in a dead tie record-wise with the Washington Mystics, though D.C. would hold the tiebreaker. I always thought that Chicago would be a playoff team, even if Elena Delle Donne or Sylvia Fowles were injured, but it would be really disappointing to see this team miss the playoffs after the progress that was made just last year.