Streaking Mercury Pull Away from Sky

After coming off the bench for two consecutive games, Sylvia Fowles returned to the starting lineup to lead the Chicago Sky in a hard-fought battle against the top-ranked Phoenix Mercury. Despite a 23-point, 11-rebound effort from Fowles, the Sky (8-12) fell to the streaking Mercury, 72-66.

Diana Taurasi scored the first basket of the game to give the Mercury an early 3-0 advantage. That proved to be the only lead of the half for Phoenix, however. The Sky responded, scoring points in the paint on five consecutive possessions to complete a 10-1 run and quickly regain the lead (10-4). After the first quarter, the Sky maintained an 18-15 lead.

The Sky's defense held Candice Dupree to just three points in the first half, after Dupree erupted for 26 points and 14 rebounds in the teams' first matchup of the season. After a low scoring second quarter the Sky carried a 30-29 lead into the half. Fowles led the Sky at the break with nine points and seven rebounds.

Fowles continued to pace the Sky as she matched her nine first-half points with nine points in the first five minutes of the third quarter. Chicago and Phoenix batted back-and-forth until the Mercury knotted the score at 42. On the ensuing possession, Griner completed a three-point play as the Mercury regained the lead (45-42) for the first time since the start of the game. The teams then exchanged 7-2 runs to bring a 51-51 tie into the fourth.

The Mercury outscored Chicago 21-15 in the final quarter to pull away with the 72-66 victory. Taurasi paced Phoenix with 19 points and five assists. Fowles delivered her third consecutive double-double performance with 23 points and 11 rebounds while Jamierra Faulkner set a season high with eight assists and contributed 13 points.

The Sky heads to Atlanta to take on the Dream on Sunday, July 13. Tip-off is set for 5:00 p.m. CT and the game will broadcast live on The U Too and WNBA LiveAccess.