The Chicago Sky are WNBA champions for the first time in franchise history, thanks to an 80-74 win at home in Game 4 of the WNBA Finals to beat the Mercury 3-1 in the series.

For much of the game, it looked like Phoenix would force a decisive Game 5 back in the desert, using a late second quarter burst to take a 7-point lead to the halftime break and led by as many as 14 in the third quarter. Brittney Griner was dominant inside, scoring 28 points and pulling down seven rebounds, and it seemed there were just no answers from Chicago for her presence in the paint — particularly as their three-point shot had gone cold for the better part of three quarters.

However, the Sky’s offense woke up and they figured out how to get stops — helped in part by Phoenix missing some good looks — and began to reel in the Mercury. Allie Quigley got hot, scoring 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting (5-of-10 from three), serving as the scoring catalyst for the Sky’s comeback.

With six minutes to play, the Mercury still held onto an 8-point lead at 70-62, but would see their offense go ice cold at the worst possible time as Chicago went on an extended 18-4 run to end the game and pull away for the win. Phoenix didn’t score a field goal in the last 4:42 of the game, with their only points coming on two Diana Taurasi free throws, as they went away from Griner and their perimeter players simply couldn’t put the ball in the basket. Taurasi and Skylar Diggins-Smith both missed bunnies late on the few times they created open looks, and otherwise they were stymied by the Sky defense down the stretch.

On the other end, Chicago’s stars shined brightest in the biggest moments. After Quigley got them within striking distance, Kahleah Copper got loose for a layup on one of 15 dimes from Courtney Vandersloot to cut the lead to three, and then Candace Parker hit a game-tying three to send a pulse of energy through the Wintrust Arena.

Then Vandersloot took over, orchestrating the offense to set up Stefani Dolson for a bucket and creating one of her own as well as she finished with 10 points, 15 assists, and nine rebounds in yet another sensational performance.

It was a phenomenal finish from Chicago or a gutting collapse from Phoenix, depending on which side you fell on, but it was a fittingly thrilling fourth quarter in a series that, while it didn’t go the full five games, produced some tremendous drama. Chicago now joins the ranks of WNBA title winning franchises and Candace Parker, who had 16 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, and four steals in the win, delivers a championship to her hometown team in her first season.

As for Finals MVP honors, those belonged to Kahleah Copper who came up big in key moments in each of the Sky’s wins in the series.

Source: https://uproxx.com/dimemag/sky-mercury-game-4-win-wnba-finals-video-highlights/

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