Kahleah Copper’s record 22-point game on Friday helped Chicago Sky take one step closer to the team’s first WNBA title.
The Sky defeated the Phoenix Mercury 86-50 in a sold-out Wintrust Arena. The team will play the fourth game on Sunday, potentially winning a championship in front of a local crowd.
RELATED: Kahleah Copper, Sky Dominate Mercury in Game 3 of WNBA Finals
“The whole town showed up,” said Candace Parker, who scored 13 points in Game 3. “I mean, I stopped for the game and people were lined up 2-3 hours before. We knew. so that the energy was going to be great and we had to do our part. “
The crowd featured a star-studded cast with Chance the Rapper, Reverend Jesse Jackson and Chicago Bears players Justin Fields and Roquan Smith in attendance.
“I really feel Chicago, I really feel it,” Sky head coach James Wade said. “The way they (the fans) came out and they support, you can feel the passion that they have and it gives us more. It gives us more passion and so, hopefully we can see the same on Sunday. and we can all celebrate together. “
Guard Diamond DeShields – daughter of former Chicago Cub Delino DeShields – finished Friday’s game with 11 points, 2 assists and 5 rebounds. DeShields said eventually winning his first career championship at home would be really special. She recalled Wade’s first visit to Chicago in 2019 and spoke about what the team wanted to accomplish.
“It would be an incredible accomplishment,” DeShields said. “Not only because we won, but just because of who we could do it. This group is really special. It would mean a lot.”
Wade won the 2019 WNBA Coach of the Year award after guiding stars like DeShields, Allie Quigley and Courtney Vandersloot to the next level of play. In Game 3, Vandersloot recorded the most single playoff assists (87) in WNBA history. Before the match, she was named to the All-WNBA second team for the third time in her career.
Sky’s front office filled the list by adding two-time MVP Parker to the roster in February. Parker has only been a spark for Sky’s offense ever since. After Friday’s game, Parker tied with Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore for the second record in WNBA playoff history with 378 baskets scored.
Parker, the first overall pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft, is looking to win his second WNBA championship of his career. She won her debut with the Los Angeles Sparks in 2016.
“I was telling my team I was 0-2 by the end of Game 4 at home,” Parker said. “I don’t want this to continue. We know they are (Mercury) a fantastic team and they are going to come in and they are going to be ready. They are going to rest and they are going to come back stronger. We have to do our part.
Sky will play the Mercury in Game 4 on Sunday in front of another sold-out crowd at the Wintrust Arena.