Tue, 26 Oct 2021

Balanced attack lifts Sky to second-round playoff win over Lynx

Field Level Media
27 Sep 2021, 09:40 GMT+10

Courtney Vandersloot hit for 19 points to lead five players in double-figure scoring as the No. 6 Chicago Sky defeated the No. 3 Minnesota Lynx 89-76 in a single-elimination second-round playoff game Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis.

The Sky advance to play at top-seeded Connecticut in the best-of-five league semifinals beginning Tuesday. Chicago's win created a five-versus-two matchup in the other semifinals as Phoenix, an 85-80 winner at Seattle earlier on Sunday, will travel to Las Vegas, also on Tuesday.

Chicago led by six points heading into the fourth quarter and quickly pushed its advantage to 71-58 by the 7:59 mark of the period. The Lynx cut their deficit to four points on a Napheesa Collier 3-pointer with 3:47 to play but would get no closer.

Kahleah Copper added 16 points for the Sky, who earned a trip to the semifinals for the first time since 2016. Azura Stevens added 15, with Diamond DeShields adding 14 points off the bench and Allie Quigley tallying 11 for Chicago.

Aerial Powers poured in 24 points to pace all scorers while Kayla McBride scored 19 and Sylvia Fowles added 17 points for Minnesota in the setback. The Lynx lost in a single-elimination round for the third time in the past four seasons.

Both teams enjoyed leads in the first quarter before DeShields scored the final four points of the period to pull Chicago within 23-22 after 10 minutes of play. The two sides swapped leads back and forth early in the second before Chicago pulled in front for the rest of the half, leading by as many as six points and settling for a 42-38 advantage at intermission.

McBride and Fowles led all scorers at halftime with 13 points each while Copper paced the Sky with 11 points in the half.

Chicago outshot the Lynx 54.8 percent to 43.2 percent in the first 20 minutes but both teams were woeful from beyond the arc, with the Sky shooting 2 for 10 from 3-point range and Minnesota just 2 of 7.

The Sky pushed their lead to 60-50 on two free throws by DeShields at the 2:59 mark of the third quarter. Minnesota finished the period with a 6-2 run to pull within 62-56 heading to the final 10 minutes.

--Field Level Media

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