Chicago Sky win their 1st WNBA title, rallying for an 80-74 victory in Game 4 at Wintrust Arena
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.
- Chicago Sky move within one win of their 1st WNBA championship after an 86-50 rout of the Phoenix Mercury in Game 3 of the Finals
- The Chicago Sky are still in the driver’s seat in the WNBA Finals despite a tough Game 2 loss. Now they need to take care of business at home.
- Chicago Sky not happy about their lack of free throws after the Phoenix Mercury even the WNBA Finals with a 91-86 overtime victory in Game 2
- Chicago Sky continue their postseason surge , outmuscling the Phoenix Mercury 91-77 to take home-court advantage in the best-of-5 WNBA Finals
- It took 3 years, but James Wade has rebuilt the Chicago Sky into a WNBA Finals contender: ‘Everybody’s bought into the culture that we have’
- Chicago Sky advance to the WNBA Finals for the 2nd time in franchise history
- Stefanie Dolson? Who? At the Olympics, she’s known as ‘Big Mama Stef’ on the 3x3 basketball court for Team USA.
- Column: It’s never easy being the hometown hero in Chicago, but Candace Parker is up for the challenge