Chicago Sky hand Phoenix Mercury largest defeat in WNBA Finals history in Game 3 win

CHICAGO -- A lot of the energy at a sold out Wintrust Arena had dissipated by the end of Friday's fourth quarter in the WNBA Finals.
The Chicago Sky weren't in trouble. They are just one win away from their first WNBA title. The Sky dominated the Phoenix Mercury by 86-50, so Chicago fans were able to relax for most of the second half.

Both teams were generous with their reserves and it was only a matter time before the final 36-point margin. This is the largest margin in WNBA Finals history.

James Wade, Chicago coach, said that he doesn't care about what they won. It's how they played. We know that we must stay focused. They should feel happy about tonight's win. However, we must continue to focus on the next game after tonight. We must take care of business.

The Sky, an expansion team that joined the league in 2006, will host Mercury in Game 4 at 3. ET Sunday on ESPN. They are leading the best-of-5 series 2-1. A win will make Chicago the 10th WNBA team to win a championship, as the league celebrates 25 years.

Phoenix holds three titles, but it seems that the Mercury will soon win the fourth. Their 25.8 percent shooting percentage was a WNBA Finals low.

Diana Taurasi, Phoenix guard, stated that the Mercury's season-low in points was "nothing but 50", referring to the Mercury's second-lowest total in a WNBA Finals match. "We'll do better than 50. That can be taken to Vegas.

Candace Parker, a Chicagoan, has been in similar situations before. She was in the same situation with Los Angeles in 2016 and 2017. In Game 4, the Sparks were facing a WNBA Finals Game 4 at their home. They had a chance of winning a championship. Both teams lost. They won the title in Minnesota, however, in Game 5. They lost the title to the Lynx in 2017.

The Sky doesn't want to return to Phoenix.

Parker said, "This is exactly where we want it to be, and to have an opportunity." Parker returned to Chicago this season as a non-restricted free agent. They're a great group. It's important to not get too far ahead of yourself. It is crucial that we have the same mindset as when we entered this game.

Kahleah copper, the Sky's leader with 22 points scored all Sky players on Friday. Courtney Vandersloot, who had 10 assists and Seattle's Sue Bird passed her for the most WNBA playoff games that featured double-digit assists (10). Vandersloot now holds a WNBA record of 87 assists in the postseason.

After losing Game 2 in overtime in Phoenix, the Sky could have been shaken. They won Friday's game almost from the tip and tied the Finals record for the largest halftime lead (22). These two teams were the last to have a big lead at halftime in a WNBA Finals match -- Game 1 of 2014, when Phoenix held the large margin. The Mercury won that game, and won the series to claim their third championship.

Brittney Griner and Taurasi were both on the Mercury team. If they want to force a Game 5, this year, both of them will have to fix Friday's offense. Griner was the only Phoenix player to score in double figures. However, she was only 7 of 17 for 16 point. Skylar Diggins Smith and Guard Taurasi combined shot 3 out of 19 from the field.

Taurasi stated, "Today honestly, nothing worked." "Inside, exterior, they took us out from everything we wanted to run." Diggins-Smith stated, "It's ugly as hell. Let's give them all the credit and let's continue playing on Sunday. We did not lose tonight's series. We have an opportunity to make it through the mud. It's up to us to get it. This is what you want."