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Chicago Sky win their 1st WNBA title, rallying for an 80-74 victory in Game 4 at Wintrust Arena

Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
 2021-10-17
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Candace Parker celebrates after winning the WNBA championship on Oct. 17, 2021. Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune

In what seemed like a pipe dream heading into the postseason, the Chicago Sky completed their miracle run with an 80-74 comeback win over the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday for the franchise’s first WNBA title.

The Sky — who trailed by 11 in the fourth quarter — also set a WNBA record for most wins in one postseason with eight.

Candace Parker’s 3-pointer with 1:57 to play tied the score at 72, and Stefanie Dolson made layups on consecutive possessions to put the Sky ahead by four with 45.8 seconds left.

After Diana Taurasi made 2 of 3 free throws to cut it to 76-74, Courtney Vandersloot restored the four-point lead with a 7-footer with 23.7 seconds left and added two free throws for the final margin.

As the sixth seed in the playoffs, the Sky had to win two single-elimination games, then ousted the top-seeded Connecticut Sun in four games in the semifinals.

Before the 2021 postseason, no team in WNBA history had won the finals after ranking outside of the top two in net rating in the regular season. The Sky, whose 1.5 net rating was the sixth-best in the league, had the lowest net rating of any WNBA champion in the league’s 25-year history.

The Mercury came back firing after their Game 3 performance, in which they set a WNBA record for worst shooting percentage in a finals game. This time around it was the Sky who struggled to find the bottom of the net. They shot 28% (7 of 25) from beyond the 3-point arc.

However, the offense came alive when Allie Quigley hit three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to cut the Mercury lead to 70-65 with 5:43 to go. Quigley finished with 26 points (5 of 10 on 3-pointers).

Parker — the former Naperville Central star and two-time WNBA MVP, who signed with her hometown team in the offseason — had a monster Game 4 with 16 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and four steals.

Vandersloot had 10 points and 15 assists, and Kahleah Copper — who was named WNBA Finals MVP — also scored 10. Dolson scored eight off the bench.

Brittney Griner led the Mercury with a game-high 28 points on 12-of-19 shooting, and Skylar Diggins-Smith added 16 points and eight assists. But Taurasi struggled again after going 1-for-10 in Game 3. She shot 4-for-16 in Game 4 and finished with 16 points.

Catch up on our Chicago Sky coverage.

Comments / 100

Someone in ME
10-17

Oh, I'm sorry, is this important? I have belly button lint to get out. What, WNBA, thanks but no thanks. My lint problem is much more important to me.

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Kingdom Kid
10-17

Congratulations Chicago Sky!!! You ladies rock!!! Ignore the ignorance of the peanut gallery's ignominious comments. Old folks say if you can't say nothing good don't say nothing at all. Keep pursuing your dreams! To rookie Dana Evans from Gary Indiana's West Side Leadership Academy, "We love you!!!" ❤ 😍 💖

Reply(8)
12
brain smasher
10-17

I bet the NBA wishes it could get a do over. The women had their own league; and they were getting paid what they were worth. The NBA started the WNBA and ran the other league out of business

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