Chasing a Championship: Phoenix Takes Game 2 in Overtime To Even WNBA Finals at 1-1

After the Chicago Sky’s dominant performance during Game 1 on Sunday secured them a one-game lead over the Phoenix Mercury in the best-of-five WNBA Finals, the Sky came into Game 2 on Wednesday looking to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the championship series, while the Mercury aimed to even things up at 1-1. 

Before the series shifts locations to Wintrust Arena in Chicago for Game 3, let’s take a look back at Game 2, what took place on Wednesday night in Phoenix and who inched closer to claiming a league title. 

 

#6 Chicago Sky – 1, #5 Phoenix Mercury – 1


Game One: Sky 91, Mercury 77

Game Two: Mercury 91, Sky 86 (OT)

Phoenix entered Game 2 in desperate need of a win at home to even the series back up and avoid allowing Chicago to take a two-game lead that would have left them one game away from winning the championship. After an exciting and down-to-the-wire battle on Wednesday night, the Mercury accomplished their objective to defend their home court. 

In what seemed like an uphill battle all game long to fight back into the contest against Chicago, Phoenix did just enough late in the game and in overtime to take down the Sky 91-86 for a big-time victory. 

 

To open the game, Chicago picked up right where it left off in Game 1 by dominating early to jump out to a six-point lead to close the opening quarter. However, after the Mercury received little help from their supporting cast during Game 1, contributions from others not named Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi or Skylar Diggins-Smith allowed Phoenix to battle back into the game and even things up at 40-40 going into halftime. 

In the second half, both teams went back and forth once again over the final two quarters. The Sky carried a lead into the final 10 minutes only to have the Mercury respond and climb back into the game. The Mercury used a 22-16 advantage to even things up and even had a chance to take the game with 4.4 seconds remaining, but they failed to do so, forcing overtime.

In the extra frame, the Mercury came out firing right out of the gate to jump up by as much as six points in the first few minutes. After a Sky comeback to take a slight one-point lead, Taurasi stepped up late when her team needed her most, scoring eight of her 20 points in overtime to push Phoenix ahead for good.

Griner was outstanding for Phoenix and did a little bit of everything to lead the team with 29 points and nine rebounds. Taurasi struggled for most of the game but turned things around in the fourth quarter and overtime to finish with 20 points (18 in the second half and overtime) and four rebounds. Behind Griner and Taurasi, Diggins-Smith added a near triple-double of 13 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds. The Mercury also got key contributions from players like Shey Peddy, with 10 points and five assists off the bench; Sophie Cunningham, with nine points and five rebounds; and Brianna Turner, with eight points and nine rebounds. 

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The backcourt duo of Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley did all they could to lift the Sky. Vandersloot recorded a double-double of 20 points, 14 assists and five steals, while Quigley secured 19 points and six rebounds. Kahleah Copper racked up a near double-double of 15 points and nine rebounds. Additionally, both Candace Parker, who pitched in 13 points and nine rebounds, and Azurá Stevens, who added nine points and nine rebounds, were also on double-double watch for Chicago. 

Phoenix desperately needed to bounce back and take Game 2 on Wednesday to even the series before heading on the road to Chicago for the next two games. The Mercury did just that, and now this best-of-five series turns into a best-of-three series with the league crown on the line. 

WNBA Playoff Schedule 

First Round (single elimination):

  • #6 Chicago Sky 81, #7 Dallas Wings 64 RECAP
  • #5 Phoenix Mercury 83, #8 New York Liberty 82 RECAP

Second Round (single elimination):

  • #5 Phoenix Mercury 85, #4 Seattle Storm 80 (OT) RECAP
  • #6 Chicago Sky 89, #3 Minnesota Lynx 76 RECAP

Semifinals: 

  • Game One (Tuesday, Sept. 28): 
    • #6 Chicago Sky 101, #1 Connecticut Sun 95 (2OT) RECAP
    • #2 Las Vegas Aces 96, #5 Phoenix Mercury 90 RECAP
  • Game Two (Thursday, Sept. 30):
    • #1 Connecticut Sun 79, #6 Chicago Sky 68 RECAP
    • #5 Phoenix Mercury 117, #2 Las Vegas Aces 91 RECAP
  • Game Three (Sunday, Oct. 3): 
    • #6 Chicago Sky 86, #1 Connecticut Sun 83 RECAP
    • #5 Phoenix Mercury 87, #2 Las Vegas Aces 60 RECAP
  • Game Four (Wednesday, Oct. 6):
    • #6 Chicago Sky 79, #1 Connecticut Sun 69 RECAP
    • #2 Las Vegas Aces 93, #5 Phoenix Mercury 76 RECAP
  • Game Five (Friday, Oct. 8):
    • #5 Phoenix Mercury 87, #2 Las Vegas Aces 84 RECAP

WNBA Finals: 

  • Game One (Sunday, Oct. 10):
    • #6 Chicago Sky 91, #5 Phoenix Mercury 77 RECAP
  • Game Two (Wednesday, Oct. 13):
    • #5 Phoenix Mercury 91, #6 Chicago Sky 86 (OT) RECAP
  • Game Three (Friday, Oct. 15):
    •  #5 Phoenix Mercury at #6 Chicago Sky, 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2
  • Game Four (Sunday, Oct. 17):
    •  #5 Phoenix Mercury at #6 Chicago Sky, 3 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Game Five – if necessary (Tuesday, Oct. 19):
    • #6 Chicago Sky at #5 Phoenix Mercury, 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2

 

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