WNBA Playoffs: Kahleah Copper propels the Chicago Sky to a 2-1 series victory over the Connecticut Sun

WNBA Playoffs
Source: Skysports

WNBA Playoffs: The sixth-seeded Chicago Sky defeated the top-seeded Connecticut Sun 86-83 in Game 3 on Sunday, establishing a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five semi-finals series.

For the Sky, Allie Quigley had 21 points, Azura Stevens had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Courtney Vandersloot had seven points and 13 assists.

Candace Parker finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds, passing Hall of Famer Lisa Leslie (471) for third place on the WNBA’s all-time postseason rebounding chart.

Connecticut was led by DeWanna Bonner’s 22 points. For the Sun, Alyssa Thomas had 18 points, Briann January had 11, while league MVP Jonquel Jones had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Connecticut produced a 21-9 fourth-quarter run to win Game 2 79-68 on Thursday, even the series at one game apiece after Chicago won Game 1 101-95 in double overtime.

After a back-and-forth first half, Chicago led 37-35. In a close third quarter that saw Connecticut emerge with a 63-60 lead after Natisha Hiedeman’s three-pointer with 6.3 seconds remaining, neither team was able to break away.

With 8:04 remaining, Kaila Charles’ 14-foot jumper gave the Sun their largest lead of the game, 72-65. The Sky recovered and retook the lead for good at 75-74, but Copper’s cutting layup capped a 15-2 surge to make it 80-74 with 3:28 remaining.

With 1:09 remaining, Thomas’ one-handed jumper pulled Connecticut to within 82-81.

With 52.9 seconds remaining, Vandersloot scored a jumper from the top of the key to put Chicago ahead 84-81.

With 42.8 seconds remaining, January’s two free throws tied the game at 84-83. With 18 seconds remaining, Thomas missed a contested jumper and fouled Parker after a Sky turnover.

Mercury defeats the Aces 2-1

The host Phoenix Mercury defeated the Las Vegas Aces 87-60 thanks to double-doubles from Brianna Turner and Brittney Griner.

Turner had 23 points and 17 rebounds, while Griner had 18 points and 11 rebounds as the fifth-seeded Mercury defeated the second-seeded Aces for the second time in a row.

Shey Peddy scored 10 points off the bench for Phoenix, which will host Game 4 on Thursday night.

Liz Cambage had 13 points and Dearica Hamby had 10 off the bench to lead the Aces, who got out to a poor start for the third time in the series. Las Vegas shot 30.9% from the field and was outrebounded 58-29.

Kia Nurse opened the third quarter with a three-pointer, and Griner followed with a jumper to give the Mercury a 51-31 advantage.

The Aces got as close as 16 points in the quarter before Peddy’s buzzer-beating shot gave Phoenix a 72-52 lead at the finish.

Peddy’s four-point play capped a 7-0 run to start the fourth quarter, giving Mercury a 27-point lead.

Diana Taurasi, who scored a career playoff-high 37 points in Game 2, finished with nine points, but she continued where she left off Thursday night, nailing two three-pointers as Phoenix built an 11-0 lead.

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