PHOENIX – In their first three tests of their five-game road trip, the Chicago Sky had passed them all, doing so with strong grades in each victory.
That included high marks over this past weekend when they swept the reigning WNBA champion Storm in Everett, Washington, including a franchise-record 32 point victory on Sunday.
But their attempt to pick up more ground in the standings and keep their winning streak going hit a road block on Tuesday night in Phoenix.
The Mercury, who sit one spot ahead of the Sky in the WNBA in fifth place, pulled away in the fourth quarter to win it 103-83 to snap Chicago’s three-game winning streak.
Phoenix put five players in double figures with Kia Nurse leading the way with 21 points with Skylar Diggins-Smith netting 20 points along with ten assists and eight rebounds. Up by three at the half, the Mercury pulled ahead to a nine-point lead after the third quarter then opened up the score by outscoring the Sky 32-21 in the final ten minutes.
Kahleah Copper led the Sky in scoring with 18 points with Diamond DeShields and Azura Stevens scoring 15 each. Candace Parker, who scored a season-high 25 points in the win over Seattle on Sunday, was held to just two points and just two field goal attempts in 24 minutes of play.
The defeat drops James Wade’s team to 14-13 on the season as they now sit 2 1/2 games behind Phoenix for the fifth spot in the WNBA standings with five games remaining in the season. It won’t be an easy finish for the Sky as they now face the Las Vegas Aces, the second place team in the WNBA, three times in that stretch, including the next two games.
The first is in Las Vegas on Thursday evening as the team ends their five-game road trip, then the teams meet again on Sunday at Wintrust Arena. September 17th is the last match-up of the regular season between the teams in Chicago.