BRADENTON, Fla. – One of the great things about the team early in this WNBA season at IMG Academy is their ability to win games in the final possession.
But a slow start prevented the Chicago Sky from doing that on Thursday night.
The Mercury got out to a 14-point lead at the end of the first quarter and the Sky were never able to get the lead back. Phoenix would pull away again late for an 96-86 win that drops James Wade’s team to 4-2 in the WNBA season.
In the opening moments the Sky had an eight point lead, but a 24-2 run put the Mercury up 32-18 lead after ten minutes. Chicago would chip away over the next two quarters, getting the lead down to six by halftime.
Courtney Vandersloot, who led the team with 21 points and eight assists, got the lead all the way down to one with a three-pointer with 5:34 to go in the third quarter. Yet the Sky would never be able to pull ahead, and Phoenix started to pull away slowly after that.
Led by Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi (22 points each), the Mercury got the lead back up to 13 points by the end of the third period and weren’t in danger of losing the advantage the rest of the way.
The Sky are back on the floor again Saturday to face the Connecticut Sun at 4 PM.