POSTGAME NOTES & QUOTES: Chicago Defeats Phoenix in a Potential First Round Matchup With 94-86 Victory


• After trailing 9-4, the Mercury closed the first quarter on a 20-10 run to lead 24-19

• The Mercury went on a 12-5 spurt to take a 46-36 advantage

• The Sky’s 10-3 run cut the deficit to three points, 49-46 just before halftime

• Down 59-54 with 7:40 remaining in the third, Chicago kicked off a 12-4 run over a span of three minutes to take a 66-63 lead

• The Sky finished the game on a 14-7 run after the Mercury cut the deficit to one point at 80-79


• Chicago outrebounded Phoenix 47-34 and 15-5 on the offensive glass

• The Sky shot 12-for-19 from the field, 63.2%, in the third quarter

• Chicago’s bench outscored Phoenix’s 22-14

• The Sky outscored the Mercury 48-32 in the second half

• Chicago matched a season low with seven turnovers


• Allie Quigley surpassed 1,000 FGM, matched her season high with 16 first-half points, notching her eighth 20+ point effort, tied with Diamond DeShields for most on the team

• Astou Ndour tallied her second career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, also grabbing a season-high six offensive rebounds

• Cheyenne Parker posted her third double-double of the season, going for 14 points and a season-high 12 boards, also matching her career high with three assists

• Courtney Vandersloot finished with zero turnovers for the second time this season, along with a game high 13 assists

• Stefanie Dolson tied her season high with four offensive boards

• The Sky recorded 20 first-quarter rebounds, the most they’ve had in a quarter in franchise history


• Diana Taurasi scored 12 points and tallied four assists and four rebounds in her second game of the season and first since July 12, logging 22 minutes

• Brittney Griner set a season high in scoring with 34 points, with 10 of them coming in the first quarter and 20 in the first half

• DeWanna Bonner recorded her eighth double-double of the season and dished five assists, her sixth time leading Phoenix in the category in a game this season

• Phoenix shot 12-for-32, 37.5%, from the field in the second half and converted zero of their eight secondhalf 3-point attempts

• The Mercury have lost their fourth straight game against the Sky, yet still lead the all-time series with an 11- 20 record



On winning three straight games:

“I was just so focused on today, I thought we came out in the second half and we responded well after a tough first half. I think it showed our character and their fight to come into a rowdy crowd. I like where we are at, I just want us to keep going and not be satisfied.”

On the message at half time after a rough first half:

“I asked them. ‘Can we play, please?’ and that was just it.”

On Allie Quigley’s three-point shooting:

“That is just who she is, she is the best shooter if not one of the best shooters in the league. Biasedly I think she is the best shooter in the game and we have to go to her and she spreads the floor for us. But her ability to get open looks just opens up everything for our team.”

On Astou Ndour and Cheyenne Parker’s double-doubles:

“Everybody thought it was going to be tough for us when Jantel [Lavender] went out, and it is to a certain extent, but you know it always gives other players and opportunity to go and I always have confidence in our roster and so I am not surprised by the effort they gave, especially here on the road. We just want to keep going.”


On the victory:

“It is huge to come here and win, this is a really tough crowd to play against, and they (Mercury) are good at home. We are just taking it one game at a time and I am happy we grinded this one out for a win.”

On containing the Mercury’s three-point shooters:

“We always know that DeWanna (Bonner) and Griner are going to get their points but if we shut down the rest of them, that will give us a better chance to win.”

On her key three-point shots:

“It was just a product of our offense, just moving the ball and setting good screens and a little bit of a defensive breakdown (by the Mercury).”


On Diana Taurasi coming back:

“She is back. It’s a great day, even though the result isn’t what we wanted it to be. It’s great to see Diana (Taurasi) back out on the court. She didn’t shoot the ball well, but you have to remember she hasn’t played for so long. She had some good looks, she just has to get her legs under her. Once she gets her legs under her I think we’ll be in good shape.”

On the impact of Taurasi:

“She reads things before they happen. She’s one of the best passers ever. She has great court vision and she knows when to get other people involved as well. She’s a leader. It’s a lot of intangibles. She didn’t score the ball well tonight, but she’s a very capable scorer as we know. I think the more games we play the better we get. It’s actually good that she came back now, because we still have six games to go and get into a rhythm. Our goal is just to get to the playoffs. If we can stay healthy, we’ll just go with the knockout rounds again.”

On Leilani Mitchell making adjustments with Taurasi’s return:

“It’s natural, when someone of that caliber comes back and you’ve been one of the first options there – we don’t want her to change her game. We want her to be more aggressive. Lei kind of hesitated on some of the shots, but she’s been playing fantastic. Like I said, that’s what we need these games, just learning how to play with each other again. We’ve faced so much adversity with different lineups, but we’re adding a pretty special player back in. I thought Sancho [Lyttle] was good to get her going as well too. They were a little rusty because they haven’t played in so long.”

On keeping Taurasi’s minutes limited:

“They told me 20. She needs a little conditioning there too, so I didn’t want to overplay her and make her fatigued where you risk another injury. I think we can continue to build up and go from there. She’s done a lot of work, but there’s nothing you can do to get core conditioning other than playing.”


On how it feels to play again:

“It feels good to be back on the court obviously. I would have liked a different result, but I thought we played well in stretches but they also played well in stretches. There is a lot of things we have to tighten up if we want to make this last push, but you know if was good to be back on the court.”

On how she felt physically:

“I felt a lot better than I thought I was going to feel for not playing for seven months. I have just been working relentlessly with the strength and conditioning crew here and trying to do every little thing I can. So I actually felt pretty good physically, but timing wise, things that usually come second nature I was hesitant on some things, but it was a good start individually for me.” On having to re-develop chemistry: “No, I think that is the beauty of this team is we just all fall back into where we need to be. We all work in different places on the court and we are never in each other’s way. We just have to find a way to stay lethal on offense and do a better job defensively on their key players.”

On whether she was expecting to play around 20 minutes:

“Probably, to extend it any more than that would have been foolish and obviously being patient still is the number one thing for me. I have had enough days of pushing through pain now, I just have to feel good and like I said the five most effective people have to be on the court no matter who they are right now.”


On Diana Taurasi and Sancho Lyttle coming back:

“It feels good with everybody getting back on the court. We have Essence (Carson) coming back soon too, so we’ll have a full team soon. Going into playoffs that’s always good when you have the whole team on the court.”

On how it feels playing with Diana Taurasi again:

“It never gets old, it’s always great having her on the court. I feel like she makes us all better. She draws a lot of attention, so it makes it easier for us, so I love when she’s on the court. It never gets old playing with her, honestly. It never gets old watching her either. I found myself just watching her on the court sometimes.”

On the difference between the first and second half:

“It was the five-minute stretch in I think it was the third quarter where it was just really bad. They went on a run and then it was kind of like we were chasing them. We were getting close, but we couldn’t get over the hump. I don’t think it was too different, but of course they amped up their defense a little bit … I’d have to look at the film, I don’t know what happened. I just remembered there was a stretch where we weren’t scoring at all.”