Chicago Sky gets big win over Mercury
It was a busy weekend for the Chicago Sky, entertaining two of the best teams in the WNBA at the Allstate Arena.
The Sky had mixed results but ended on a good note.
After being tagged Friday with a 14-point loss to the New York Liberty, the first-place team in the Eastern Conference, the Sky got back on track Sunday with a 74-64 victory over the Phoenix Mercury, the defending WNBA champion and the second-best team in the Western Conference.
The Sky moved to 14-9, while Phoenix dropped to 14-8.
"A win against a good team at home, you get on a roll and get momentum," Sky coach Pokey Chatman said. "And to be able to come in here and talk about a defensive assignment that you carried out against a hot team ... that's a crucial thing."
Phoenix entered the game having won five straight but was stymied by the Sky's defense, particularly in the third quarter. The Sky held Phoenix to just 6 third-quarter points, its lowest for an opponent in a quarter this season.
The Mercury hit just 19 percent of its shots in the third quarter and 38 percent for the game.
"(The defensive stops) are huge and they give us confidence," said Sky guard Allie Quigley, who came off the bench to score 13 points.
"It's crucial," Sky forward Elena Delle Donne chimed in regarding the defense. "When we can get stops, that means we can get into our transition offense and that's where we're best."
Delle Donne certainly was at her best throughout much of the game. She poured in a game-high 33 points and set a new career high in made 3-pointers with 5.
Point guard Courtney Vandersloot also finished in double figures for the Sky. She had 11 points to go with 7 assists. Meanwhile, forward Jessica Breland racked up 13 rebounds.
For Phoenix, 6-foot-8 center Brittney Griner paved the way with 21 points and 14 rebounds, while forward DeWanna Bonner and guard Monique Currie each had 10 points.
"It was tremendous," Chatman said of the Sky's defense on Griner. "No one will talk about this because she had 21 and 14, but I thought (Sky forward Clarissa) Dos Santos in her 20 minutes with her 2 points and 4 rebounds did a really good job at times (guarding Griner) because it was a big size difference there and a lot more physicality. I'm pleased with it."
Next game: Sky at New York Liberty, 6 p.m. Tuesday.