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Vandersloot’s late-game defensive heroics secure Sky victory over Mercury in finals rematch

Vandersloot’s late-game defensive heroics secure Sky victory over Mercury in finals rematch

Vandersloot’s late-game defensive heroics secure Sky victory over Mercury in finals rematch

Courtney Vandersloot scored 18 points, Candace Parker grabbed 11 rebounds and the Chicago Sky beat the short-handed Phoenix Mercury 73-70 on Tuesday night in a WNBA Finals rematch.

Phoenix star Diana Taurasi was ejected with 3:43 left in the second quarter for arguing a no-call with an official. The Mercury were trailing 31-21 at the time, but rallied in the third quarter by scoring 31 points and shooting 72 percent from the floor.

Vandersloot made one of two free throws with nine seconds left in the fourth quarter for a 72-70 lead, and she knocked the ball away from Skylar Diggins-Smith on a drive at the other end. Rebekah Gardner also went one for two at the line for a three-point lead and former Chicago player Diamond DeShields did not hit the rim on a corner three-pointer as time expired.

Kahleah Copper added 11 points, and Emma Meesseman and Gardner each scored 10 for Chicago (5-3). Parker was just two of nine from the field as both teams shot under 42 per cent.

Tina Charles scored 25 points for Phoenix (2-7). Diggins-Smith had 12 points and eight assists and DeShields added 10 points and seven rebounds.

Chicago jumped out to a 20-10 first-quarter lead after holding Phoenix to 4-of-20 shooting. Charles had six of the Mercury’s 10 points.

Mystics cruise past fever

Ariel Atkins scored a season-high 28 points, Elena Delle Donne scored 13 of her 19 points in the first half and the Washington Mystics beat the Indiana Fever 87-75 on Tuesday night.

Elizabeth Williams led Washington’s defensive effort with 15 rebounds and six blocks, while also scoring 10 points for her first double-double with the Mystics. Natasha Cloud also had a double-double with 15 points and 10 assists.

Washington (7-3) trailed 46-38 at halftime before outscoring Indiana 49-29 in the second half. The Mystics finished with a 44-32 advantage on the glass.

Kelsey Mitchell led Indiana (3-8) with 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting. NaLyssa Smith added 13 points, Victoria Vivians had 11 and Queen Egbo grabbed 10 rebounds. Indiana was 30-for-74 shooting (40.5 per cent) and turned it over 13 times.

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