Stars collide as Mercury, Sky tip off in 2014 Finals rematch
10/9/2021 3:08:39 PM EST
Seven years ago, Diana Taurasi and the Phoenix Mercury beat the Chicago Sky to win their most recent WNBA title. However, the Mercury didn't have to face fellow league superstar Candace Parker in that matchup.
Two of the game's all-time best begin their quest for another championship Sunday when Parker and the visiting Sky face Taurasi's Mercury in Game 1 of the best-of-five WNBA Finals.
Back in 2014, with Taurasi and fellow star Brittney Griner in charge, Phoenix swept Chicago to win the franchise's third WNBA championship. It was the first finals' appearance for the Sky, who now boast the 35-year-old Parker, a 2016 title winner with Los Angeles, leading the way in her first Chicago season.
"We were missing one piece, and it was Candace Parker," guard Courtney Vandersloot told ESPN. "She was going to take us to this point right here. Whether we win a championship or not, she changed this franchise."
Vandersloot had 19 points in the sixth-seeded Sky's 79-69 semifinal series-clinching win over No. 1 seed Connecticut in Game 4 on Wednesday.
Parker is averaging 13.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.0 steals in the playoffs for the Sky, who finished 16-16 during the regular season. They caught fire in the playoffs by winning single-elimination games versus Dallas and Minnesota and taking three of four from the favored Sun.
Kahleah Copper (18.2 points per game in playoffs) and Vandersloot (14.0 points, 8.7 assists) have also been solid during the postseason for the Sky, who lost all three meetings with Phoenix during the 2021 season.
Hours before the birth of her second child with wife Penny Taylor, Taurasi (19.7 points per game in playoffs) scored 14 of her 24 points in the fourth quarter of fifth-seeded Phoenix's 87-84 semifinal win at No. 2 seed Las Vegas in Friday's decisive Game 5.
Griner (21.0 points, 9.7 rebounds) had 28 points with nine rebounds for the Mercury, who could tie a WNBA record with their fourth title after winning single-elimination contests over New York and Seattle before outlasting the Aces.
"I know the magnitude of this," Taurasi told ESPN. "(My teammates) have been great all year. This team has just been resilient all year."
--Field Level Media
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 18:46:10 EST Giants place LT Andrew Thomas (ankle) on IR
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 16:58:44 EST Colts waive backup QB Jacob Eason
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 17:21:44 EST Broncos' Teddy Bridgewater (foot) expected to play vs. Browns
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 14:45:18 EST Texans release DE Whitney Mercilus
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 13:49:47 EST Ravens OT Ronnie Stanley needs season-ending surgery
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 17:18:07 EST Browns QB Baker Mayfield determined to play despite injury
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 12:33:56 EST Report: Bills TE Dawson Knox broke hand against Titans
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 11:31:31 EST Report: Titans rookie CB Caleb Farley (ACL) out for season
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 10:57:21 EST Jaguars cut veteran K Josh Lambo
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 14:29:17 EST Braves' new world? Atlanta enters NLCS Game 3 as World Series favorite
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 12:46:28 EST Yankees’ DJ Lemahieu has surgery to repair sports hernia
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 09:53:38 EST Yankees bring back manager Aaron Boone on a new contract
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 02:18:37 EST Astros search for answers to Red Sox's ALCS onslaught
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 00:40:52 EST Red Sox slam Astros again, grab 2-1 ALCS lead
Mon, 18 Oct 2021 20:21:31 EST Braves' 2-0 lead vs. Dodgers is hardly comfortable
Mon, 18 Oct 2021 19:21:52 EST Shoulder surgery not expected for Padres' Fernando Tatis Jr.
Mon, 18 Oct 2021 15:35:50 EST Mets' GM search goes on without Billy Beane, David Stearns
Mon, 18 Oct 2021 13:12:00 EST More fireworks expected as Astros visit Red Sox for Game 3
Mon, 18 Oct 2021 13:09:20 EST Darnell Coles joins Nationals as hitting coach
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 20:46:23 EST Rockets, Timberwolves hope to turn page after poor years
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 20:22:52 EST Rebuilding Magic, Spurs tip off season taking the long view
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 19:56:14 EST Evan Mobley to debut when Cavs face up-and-coming Grizzlies
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 18:55:32 EST No Ben Simmons, no Zion Williamson as Sixers and Pelicans meet
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 17:54:21 EST Serge Ibaka (back) to miss Clippers' opener on Thursday
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 15:31:58 EST Ime Udoka, Celtics begin new era against Knicks
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 15:48:00 EST Raptors start post-Kyle Lowry era vs. revamped Wizards
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 15:14:28 EST Pistons hope to have Cade Cunningham when they run with Bulls
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 15:06:52 EST Sixers suspend Ben Simmons for one game
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 14:07:22 EST Books like Michael Porter Jr. as Most Improved, Rudy Gobert DPOY
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 18:10:21 EST Hall of Famer Mike Bossy reveals lung cancer battle
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 16:53:38 EST Devils activate Damon Severson, put Mackenzie Blackwood on IR
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 15:24:00 EST Avs' Nathan MacKinnon out of COVID protocol, to face Caps
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 20:36:22 EST Blues' Pavel Buchnevich suspended 2 games for headbutt
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 13:25:35 EST Flyers hope to have Rasmus Ristolainen back against Bruins
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 01:58:52 EST Oilers rolling on both ends of ice entering matchup with Ducks
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 01:27:59 EST NHL roundup: 5-goal period carries Blues past Coyotes
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 01:33:44 EST Kraken conclude back-to-back against rested Devils
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 01:15:03 EST Jordan Kyrou, Klim Kostin put on show as Blues outscore Coyotes
Tue, 19 Oct 2021 01:11:50 EST Jamie Drysdale's OT goal caps Ducks' rally past Flames