• The Sky used an 11-4 run over the game’s first 3:46 to take an early first quarter lead
• The Mercury ended the first quarter on a 21-14 run to cut the deficit to five points, 32-27
• Chicago went on a 20-4 run to start the second half, taking a 74-57 advantage
• The Sky’s 14-0 run gave them a 91-66 lead with 7:12 remaining in the fourth quarter
• The Sky outrebounded the Mercury 45-32.
• Chicago dominated the offensive glass, securing 15 offensive rebounds compared to seven for Phoenix.
• Sky’s bench outscored the Mercury’s 41-28.
• Chicago won the turnover battle: 14-6; it was Chicago’s season low in turnovers.
• The Sky’s 32-point first quarter was their second-highest scoring quarter this season and their highest first-quarter scoring total since August 28, 2016.
• Chicago shot 50.6% from the field in the game, its first time eclipsing the 50% mark since July 7 in Dallas.
• Astou Ndour scored a season-high 18 points, matched her career high for 3s made in a game (3).
• Diamond DeShields is now six points away from 1,000 in her career after scoring 15 in the win.
• Courtney Vandersloot’s nine first-half assists match her most in a half this season and her three steals for the game match a season high.
• Cheyenne Parker scored in double-figures for the fourth consecutive game, also matching her career high for 3s made with two.
• The Sky’s magic number to clinch a home playoff game drops to 1 with their win.
• Gabby Williams shot 50% or better in a game for the first time since August 3, going 2-for-4 from the floor with seven points.
• Center Kayla Alexander recorded her first field goal since joining the Sky and finished with two points and three rebounds.
• After failing to reach double figures in scoring in back-to-back games forward DeWanna Bonner recorded 12 points and 12 rebounds in the loss, recording her 10th double-double of the season.
• Brittney Griner turned in her fifth straight 20+-point performance, scoring 26 points.
• The Mercury finished the season winless against the Sky, losing all three contests by a combined 42 points.
• In Diana Taurasi’s fifth start of the season, she scored three points and tallied three assists in 21 minutes.
• Leilani Mitchell led the Mercury in assists with six, marking the 12th game she led the team in the category this season.
SKY HEAD COACH/GM JAMES WADE
On what got the team amped up after Thursday’s home loss to the Wings:
“It affected them how we felt like we let one go. I think the sense of urgency was at an all-time high to get things done. It took us a while to get into a groove defensively, but we played with an extra energy and an extra pep that we needed, and hopefully it can stay there. It bothered everyone that, we felt, not taking credit away from Dallas, but we felt like we let one get away, because we feel like, at that moment, we were a better team. It’s no slight to them, and they were a better team that night. Yesterday’s practice, [the Sky] went really hard, and they were really focused coming into the game.”
On what he said to the injured Jantel Lavender during the game:
“I asked her what she saw, and I gave her props postgame. One thing about Jantel [Lavender] is she’s a leader, she has championship experience, and I trust her. So I ask her what she saw and she told me, ‘Maybe we can do this,’ or ‘Maybe this will help us,’ so I relayed that message to the team, and I felt that it helped us a lot. I would like to take credit for it, but it was all Jantel. Her biggest message was a message I would like to not share, because we might play [the Mercury] in the playoffs, but maybe I’ll tell you after.”
SKY FORWARD CHEYENNE PARKER
On channeling their energy and potential moving forward:
“I think just feed off of it. We had good energy, especially in the second half, and we see the capability we have as a team when it’s a full team effort. Just keeping the mindset that we had in the second half.”
On the change of approach between halves in defending Brittney Griner:
“Coach [Wade] was really clear. He just wanted us to stop her early at the 3-point line, trying to keep her from catching the ball, and that’s what we did. And obviously crowd when she does, and that took care of it.”
On her 3-point prowess:
“I definitely keep it in the bag. Coach [James] Wade knows, I work on my 3s. I make sure to work on it. It’s something I’ve always worked on, give it some extra attention. I’m just thankful it paid off tonight, and I was able to knock them down.”
On the team’s potential:
When we’re at a razor-sharp focus, the team’s unstoppable. We have so many weapons. If we keep that same energy and that same level of focus, I think we’re gonna make a lot of noise in the playoffs, and this definitely set the tone for that.”
SKY CENTER ASTOU NDOUR
On feeding off the playoff atmosphere at Wintrust Arena:
“It was a nice and good night here today having them here supporting us like every day. But I feel like today they were especially good at home.”
On matching her career high with three made 3s:
“I can shoot too, but usually I’m focusing more on my 2-point shot or doing rebound or running. I can shoot too, but today I just felt good and kept shooting.”
MERCURY HEAD COACH SANDY BRONDELLO
On losing to the Sky for the third time this season:
“Chicago played extremely well. They’re playing a lot of five out and they’ve got the best point guard in the WNBA right now in Vandersloot. She just picked us apart. I was a little disappointed in our fight, I thought the first half was decent but the second half we just didn’t have enough fight or scoring ability to stay in the game. Chicago just outplayed us.”
On guarding Courtney Vandersloot:
“You know you can try and do different things but she’s just got such a high basketball IQ and she can pass the ball as good as anybody I’ve ever seen and she’s just a hard guard for us. Hopefully we don’t face them again [because] we’ve gotta find a way to slow her down but I’m happy for her she’s worked really hard to get to the place she’s at.”
On finishing the regular season strong:
“We’ve gotta just stay together. We have to make sure that we’re fighting and I’m afraid we didn’t do that today for 40 minutes. If we want to go far in the playoffs we’ve gotta compete and we’ve gotta fight and we’ve got to stay together.”
MERCURY FORWARD DEWANNA BONNER
On losing to Chicago for the third time this season:
“They played a great game and they’re a great team. They moved the ball well and they hit shots so credit to them but we’re gonna go back and watch the video because we could potentially face them again in the playoffs so we’ll have to make adjustments, they’ve beaten us three times this year, so we’ve got to be better next time.
On Courtney Vandersloot’s 13 assists:
“She’s a great point guard, she comes down and she can pick you apart man. She always hits the right person at the right time and she’s gotten people going and when she plays like she did tonight it’s gonna be really tough to win. It seemed especially tonight that everyone on her team was getting going and she’s a big reason for that.”
On potentially facing the Sky again in the WNBA playoffs:
“Just our defense needs to change, our scheme, where we are, our placement and the intensity we play defense with. We want to go deep into the playoffs we need to start playing defense better individually and as a team so that’s the biggest thing we’ve gotta change and we’ll start by looking at the film and learning from our mistakes.”
MERCURY CENTER BRITTNEY GRINER
On tonight’s loss to Chicago:
“They definitely hit more shots than us. We’ve gotta go back and watch our defense. Defense, defense, defense that’s the most important thing for us if we’re gonna be better and beat them if we face off again.”
On the team’s struggles to defend Courtney Vandersloot:
“They just move the ball well, they’re playing well together. They’ve been with each other for a minute now so their chemistry is really good. They’ve got a good team with Sloot coming down and she’s got the most assists in the league right now. She makes it really hard to guard them and you’ve also got someone like Allie
[Quigley] to worry about as well as Cheyenne Parker who’s doing really good. They’re a tough team to guard for sure, James is doing good with them.”
On improvements as the team eyes the playoffs:
“Just our coverage on defense. We’ve [got to] be better in rotating and playing help defense as a team so I think getting better on that end over these next three games is gonna be our key if we’re gonna be successful in the playoffs.”