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Candace Parker, Sky Beat Diana Taurasi, Mercury in Game 1 of 2021 WNBA Finals

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In Game 1 of the WNBA Finals, the Chicago Sky earned a 91-77 street win over the Phoenix Mercury to take a 1-0 lead within the best-of-five collection. Six gamers scored in double figures for Chicago within the victory, led by Kahleah Copper’s 21 factors.

Chicago star Candace Parker, who’s in her first 12 months along with her hometown staff after spending her first 13 WNBA seasons in Los Angeles, had 16 factors and eight rebounds.

Brittney Griner had 20 factors for Phoenix within the loss.

The final time both staff reached the finals was in 2014, after they confronted one another. The Sky had been swept by the Mercury in that collection 3-0. Phoenix additionally gained all three video games on this 12 months’s regular-season collection, however Parker missed the primary two video games whereas recovering from an ankle damage.


Notable Performers

Kahleah Copper, G, Sky: 21 factors, 10 rebounds

Allie Quigley, G, Sky: 18 factors

Candace Parker, F, Sky: 16 factors, 8 rebounds

Brittney Griner, C, Mercury: 20 factors, 6 rebounds


Sky Use Big 2nd Quarter to Pull Away

After a intently contested first quarter, the Sky exploded within the second quarter to tug away, outscoring the Mercury 26-10 within the body.

Chicago upped the tempo within the second quarter, scoring extra in transition and attacking earlier within the shot clock.

Chicago Sky @chicagosky

CANDACE PARKER, Y’[email protected]_Parker | #skytown pic.twitter.com/aZgnlCqaNg

Even extra spectacular was the Sky’s work on protection. Chicago’s exercise stifled Phoenix and compelled it into uncharacteristic turnovers. The Mercury totaled 11 first-half turnovers, essentially the most in any half this season.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Talk to ‘em, @Candace_Parker 🗣

(by way of @WNBA)pic.twitter.com/Yu0NEXJcf3

The Sky appeared to discover a successful method after they stopped double-teaming Mercury heart Brittney Griner and stayed residence on the perimeter gamers, forcing them to shoot contested three-pointers. Phoenix went 0-of-5 from deep within the quarter. Chicago ended the second quarter on a 17-2 run and took a 46-35 lead into halftime.

The Mercury tried to claw again within the second half and lower the deficit to seven factors, however the Sky had a solution and stopped each rally.

When Chicago watches movie of Sunday’s recreation, the staff’s efficiency within the second quarter will possible obtain a ton of focus. If the Sky can match the trouble from that quarter on each ends of the ground, they’ve an excellent likelihood to earn one other street win Wednesday.


Diana Taurasi Doomed by Fouls and Turnovers

Mercury star Diana Taurasi had an uncharacteristic displaying in Sunday’s recreation. Despite scoring 17 factors, Taurasi seemed out of kinds all through the competition and dedicated six turnovers and 5 fouls.

Taurasi’s frustration boiled over within the third quarter when she picked up a technical foul. She was fouled by Chicago’s Diamond DeShields whereas taking pictures a three-pointer however introduced her hand down on DeShields’ face and broke her goggles. The play was reviewed and Taurasi was decided to have made an unnatural movement, ensuing within the technical.

The Mercury had a fast turnaround after topping the Las Vegas Aces in Game 5 of the WNBA semifinals Friday. But Taurasi did not use fatigue as an excuse, saying they had been simply being outplayed by the Sky.

ESPN @espn

“We’re not drained, we’re simply getting our ass kicked proper now.”

Diana Taurasi stored it actual.#WNBA | #WNBATwitter pic.twitter.com/Sc3gVmL8xH

Phoenix emptied its bench with slightly over 4 minutes left to play, pulling Taurasi together with Skylar Diggins-Smith and Brittney Griner.

The Mercury completed with 18 turnovers Sunday. Phoenix should play extra effectively in Game 2 if it hopes to keep away from a 0-2 gap.     


What’s Next?

Both the Sky and Mercury may have a few days of relaxation earlier than returning to motion for Game 2 on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET.

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