Aussie Champs: Erin Phillips and Penny Taylor
Sep 13 2014 4:00AM

"You know, it's just been an amazing season... you can't really put it into words. We were so consistent all year and to finish it off 3-0 is amazing. It's just a testament to the coaching staff, this organization and the team." -- Erin Phillips

"We have some amazing talent in every position, but more than that we have heart, these players have heart. And they play for each other, you know, whether it's taking a lesser scoring role in some games or whether it's being a defensive stopper like [Bonner], whether it's Diana making shots affter everyone gets a touch of the ball -- everyone's just so unselfish." -- Penny Taylor

Shooting Herself Into History
NBAE/Getty Images
Sep 13 2014 3:37AM

Posted by Anthony Oliva

With one shot in Game 3, Diana Taurasi vaulted herself into yet another stratosphere as it relates to her legendary career.

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Sep 13 2014 3:48AM

Posted by Kate Bennert

Here's what the Sky had to say after an incredible and tough 2014 season.

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Title Number Three for Finals MVP Taurasi
Sep 12 2014 11:20PM
Watch the Mercury Celebrate Like WNBA Champs
Sep 12 2014 11:10PM

Diana Taurasi Wins WNBA Finals MVP
Sep 12 2014 10:22PM

After 24 points, becoming the all-time leading WNBA Finals scorer and hitting the game-winning shot, Diana Taurasi came way with the 2014 Finals MVP trophy.

Phoenix Mercury Are the 2014 WNBA Champions
Sep 12 2014 10:09PM

Posted by Kate Bennert

After a nail-biter to end all nail-biters, the Phoenix Mercuy beat the Chicago Sky 87-82 in Chicago.

The game was neck and neck the entire game with 7 lead changes and the biggest lead of the game belonging to Phoenix with the final score, a five point lead.

Diana Taurasi and Candice Dupree led the way for the Mercury with 24 points apiece. Diana Taruasi, or course, also made the game winning shot which put Phoenix up 84-82 with 14.3 seconds left in the game.

Taruasi also became the leading scorer in WNBA Finals history.

The Sky fought hard with Elena Delle Donne leading the way with 23 points and Allie Quigley leading a 9-0 run bringing Chicago to their largest lead before the Mercury took it away in the final seconds.

Diana Taurasi Breaks Record for Most Points in WNBA Finals History
Sep 12 2014 9:50PM

Posted by Kate Bennert

She surpassed Deanna Nolan with 258 WNBA Finals points.

She now has 21 points with 1:15 left in the 4th Quarter. Mercury are up 82-80.

Game 3 Halftime Check-In
Sep 12 2014 8:48PM

Posted by Kate Bennert

This game has been nothing but back and forth. At the half, the Mercury lead the Sky 45-43. The two teams are almost closer statistically than they have been all series with the Chicago Sky shooting 44.7 percent from the field and the Mercury are shooting 57.1.

The Sky are thoroughly taking advantage of Brittney Griner's absence by attacking the paint. At the half, the Sky have 26 points in the paint, including their first 18:

Also factoring into the Sky's 43 points, Courtney Vandersloot's 8 assists in the first half, which broke none other than Diana Taurasi's previous record of 7 assists in a WNBA Finals half.

Despite a rocky start with 6 turnovers, the Mercury are still out on top thanks to Candice Dupree with 14 and Diana Taurasi with 10. Six of those 10 came from her two three pointer which officially made Taurasi the leading three point scorer in the history of the WNBA Finals.

Eva Kobryn, who is replacing Brittney Griner as center for the Mercury, has 6 points and 2 blocked shots, but also 3 personal fouls which could potentially get the Mercury into trouble.

Brittney Griner Will Not Play In Game 3
Sep 12 2014 6:39PM

Posted by Kate Bennert

The Mercury's Brittney Griner will not play in Game 3 due to an eye injury she incurred in Game 2 and received surgery for on Thursday. Today, doctors decided Griner should not play as a precaution. Her status will be day-to-day.

"It's gonna be tough sitting on the bench not able to play, but I have all the faith in the world in my teammates and I'll just be sitting there rooting them on," Griner said in the locker room before the game.

"[My eye's] not that bad," she continued, "I had a little laser surgery on it, corrected it. Just taking it a day at a time. Doctors don't want me to play today so, you know, that's what they went to school for so I'm gonna listen to the doctors."

"This team is still good with or without me on the court. I have all the faith in the world that they will close this thing out."

"It'll be tough to watch. It's always tough to watch. You never just want to sit on the bench."

Candice Dupree's "Ironic" Return to the UIC Pavillion
Sep 12 2014 4:10PM

Although the Chicago Sky would rather play in their regular arena Allstate Arena, the UIC Pavillion, where Game 3 (and Game 4, if necessary) will be held, has a lot of Chicago Sky history behind it. Just ask former Sky player and current Mercury player Candice Dupree:

“It’s kinda weird to be back in here. I haven’t been in here in like 5 years. I think when they said we weren’t playing in Allstate, that we’re playing back at UIC , I was kinda like 'what?' So it’s pretty cool. This is where it all started for me.”

The Chicago Sky may have gotten their start here, but let's just say the Sky you see now is much different than the Sky you saw eight years ago, when Dupree was drafted.

“Any good memories? Hmmm. [laughs] No I mean I had the opportunity to play for some good coaches and play with some great players. Even though we lost a lot we still had a lot of fun on and off the court so. Chicago’s a great city to play in.”

“I just look at it as kind of ironic to be back here and to potentially win a championship in the same building, so it’s really cool.”

What the Players Are Saying Before Game 3
Sep 12 2014 3:43PM

Sylvia Fowles
“We're always mentally prepared. I think that’s what happens within these four lines. We just go out there and got to have faith in each other and as a unit... I'm ready to play another physical game.”

Courtney Vandersloot
“I think we’re excited to be back at home even though this isn’t technically our home floor. It’s as much as it can be, it’s Chicago, it’s home. We’re gonna have our fans in here. I think it’s going to be a good environment and we’re excited.”

Allie Quigley
"I think we’ve gotta, in this moment, we gotta hit big shots. You know, I think that everyone’s gotta be clicking tonight. I feel like in the last couple of games it’s been one person had a good game and the next person. It hasn’t been everyone at the same time. We need everyone for this game, we can’t just have one person have a good game."

Candice Dupree
"With Sandy we’re always making adjustments. Just some minor ones, gotta prepare for if BG doesn’t play so just trying to figure out what we’re gonna do as far as the post players go. I mean offensively we just gotta rebound and run but not any major adjustments.”

Diana Taruasi
"but we know what the challenges are. We know Chicago’s gonna come out and play great, we know that. So we’re gonna have to come and play a really focused game for 40 minutes. No possessions off, no mental lapses. We know they’re gonna make runs, we know they’re gonna make shots, but through all that we still have to find a way to play our game and hopefully win.”

What They're Saying: September 12, 2014
Sep 12 2014 2:31PM

Posted by Anthony Oliva

“After dominating the Chicago Sky in the first two games of the WNBA Finals, Diana Taurasi and her Phoenix Mercury know that closing out the series won't be as easy.” – Doug Feinberg, Associated Press

“So with a well-earned swagger, respect for the opposition and an uncanny knack for staying in the moment on their tray tables, the Mercury flew to Chicago in an attempt to complete the franchise's third championship.” – Randy Hill, FOX Sports Arizona

“Game 3 offers some hope for the Sky. It's in Chicago, of course, away from the wild Phoenix crowd that packs US Airways Center and gives the Mercury arguably the best home-court advantage in the league.” – Tyler Killian, Arizona Republic

“No nation outside the U.S. has had a bigger impact on the WNBA than Australia. And three Aussies [Sandy Brondello, Erin Phillips and Penny Taylor] have Phoenix one win away from the title.” – Mechelle Voepel, espnW.com

Game 3 is Tonight: 8PM ET on ESPN2
Sep 12 2014 12:54AM

Sep 12 2014 11:42AM
Facing Elimination, Don't Count Out the Sky Just Yet
NBAE/Getty Images
Sep 11 2014 6:19PM

Posted by Anthony Oliva

It's win or go home for Chicago Sky, but if this postseason is any indication, they might have the Phoenix Mercury right where they want them.

The Sky have faced elimination three times in the 2014 Playoffs, and all three times they came away with victories. They stormed back for a historic comeback in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the top-seeded Atlanta Dream and defeated the Indiana Fever in games 2 and 3, after falling down 1-0, in the Eastern Conference Finals.

“Nobody wants to go home," Chicago guard Allie Quigley said. "We don’t want to stop playing. We came this far and we just want this really badly, so I think that’s gonna show tomorrow.”

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Mercury, Sky React to Griner's Game-Time Status for Game 3
Sep 11 2014 5:59PM

Posted by Kate Bennert

The Mercury's worst nightmare was temporarily realized when midway through the second quarter of Game 2 their newly minted First Team All-WNBA center hit the floor clutching her face after a tangle with Chicago Sky center Sylvia Fowles.

Brittney Griner, who was poked in the eye during that sequence, went on to play out the game and score a team-high 19 points, leading the Mercury to a 29-point victory (the largest in WNBA Finals history). And, to add to it, she also suffered a chipped tooth later in the game.

It appears that first encoutner with Fowles, however, could have a lasting impression on this series. Griner actually didn't travel to Chicago with the rest of the team. She lagged behind for an "outpatient procedure to correct a retinal issue," according to an official statement from the Phoenix Mercury. She is expected to re-join the team on Friday morning and will be evaluated by doctors on game day. Whether or not she will play Friday night will be a game-time decision.

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Official Statement: Griner is Game-Time Decision for Friday
Official Statement: Griner is Game-Time Decision for Friday
Sep 11 2014 2:27PM

Statement from Phoenix Mercury:
Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner underwent an outpatient procedure to correct a retinal issue. She is under the observation of Mercury and Suns team ophthalmologist Dr. Jay Schwartz in Phoenix. Griner will be re-evaluated Friday morning, will then join the team in Chicago, and she will be a game-time decision for Game 3 of the WNBA Finals Friday evening.

Arena Note: Games 3 & 4 in Chicago to be Played in UIC Pavilion
Arena Note: Games 3 & 4 in Chicago to be Played in UIC Pavilion
NBAE/Getty Images
Sep 10 2014 6:23PM

Posted by Anthony Oliva

While the 2014 WNBA Finals presented by Boost Mobile turn to the Windy City, the Sky will not be playing in their home arena for Games 3 and 4. A scheduling conflict at Allstate Arena means they will instead play its home games at the UIC Pavilion. The Sky called the UIC Pavillion home from 2006 through 2009.

GO TO CHICAGO SKY HOME

What They're Saying: Game 2
Sep 10 2014 11:17AM

Posted by Anthony Oliva

“The Mercury knew they would get a challenge from the Chicago Sky after cruising to victory in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals. The challenge came early Tuesday. But like they've done all season, the Mercury simply brushed it off, asserted their superiority and kept rolling.” – Tyler Killian, USA Today

“Two years of injuries, surgeries and setbacks had Penny Taylor wondering a lot of things. … She can wonder a little less now. Taylor gave a vintage performance Tuesday in Game 2 of the WNBA Finals, scoring 14 points to go with eight rebounds and six assists in the Mercury's 97-68 win over Chicago that puts Phoenix one victory away from a third WNBA championship.” – Michelle Smith, espnW.com

“Chicago scratched Brittney Griner across the eyelid, chipped one of her teeth and bloodied her lip. Staggered by the blows, Phoenix's lanky center fought back the best way she knows how; by scoring and swatting shots. Now the Mercury are on the verge of delivering the knockout blow.” – John Marshall, Associated Press

“Elena Delle Donne was looking like the player coach Pokey Chatman calls a superstar. After suffering through a lower back problem for the past five games, Delle Donne was playing the way the Sky needed. … For the Sky to rally and get back into the series, they’ll need Delle Donne’s re-emergence to continue.” – Brian Sandalow, Chicago Sun-Times

Taurasi: "I’ve never been on a team like this"
Taurasi:
NBAE/Getty Images
Sep 10 2014 2:38AM

"It might be one of the most unselfish and talented teams I’ve ever been on. I don’t mean talented in how good BG [Brittney Griner] is, how good DB [DeWanna Bonner] is. I mean the willingness to do it for the next person. I’ve never been on a team like this in my whole career." - Diana Taurasi

Prince: "It's now or never"
Prince:
NBAE/Getty Images
Sep 10 2014 3:29AM

"It’s now or never. If we lose then it’s over. We have worked so hard to get to this point, so we just want to be able to capitalize and own the moment." - Epiphanny Prince

Sep 10 2014 12:00AM

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