Chicago Sky vs. Phoenix Mercury Pick & Prediction MAY 21st 2023

Stadium: US Airways Center Phoenix
Logo Chicago Sky
Logo Phoenix Mercury

159.5o -110
-4 -110



Brittney Griner played just fine in her first WNBA game in more than a year and a half.

But her Phoenix Mercury team fared poorly in a 94-71 season-opening loss to the Sparks on Friday night in Los Angeles.

The Mercury will try to do better in their home opener when they face the Chicago Sky on Sunday afternoon. The Sky opened with a 77-66 victory against the Lynx on Friday in Minneapolis.

Griner, returning from a full-season absence while she was detained in a Russian prison on drug-related charges, scored a game-high 18 points and added six rebounds and four blocks in 25 minutes and helped Phoenix build an 11-point lead during the first quarter. But that quickly fizzled.

"It's hard just taking a break anyway in between seasons," Griner said. "I remember I had a month off one time, and I thought it was death. By the All-Star Game, I hope to be exactly where I want to be ... just getting back to how it was before all this happened."

The Sky, who beat the Mercury in the 2021 WNBA Finals in Griner's last action before Friday, took control by outscoring Minnesota 22-3 in the second quarter as the Lynx made just 1 of 15 shots from the floor and turned the ball over 11 times.

"It's our first game, so the rhythm needed to catch up with us," Sky coach James Wade said. "The cohesion was there; we just had to find our footing. I felt that we would settle down and get going because their intensity and desire were there."

Kahleah Copper scored 20 points and Alanna Smith added 15 points for the Sky, who trailed 24-22 entering the pivotal second quarter.

"Nobody had their head down," Copper said. "Nobody cracked. We kept coming together. ... It says a lot about the group and what we're trying to build as our identity."

--Field Level Media
Chicago Sky
Phoenix Mercury

Chicago Sky vs. Phoenix Mercury Recap MAY 21TH 2023

Kahleah Copper scored 15 points and Dana Evans added 13 to lead a balanced scoring effort as the visiting Chicago Sky spoiled Brittney Griner's first home game of the season, defeating the Phoenix Mercury 75-69 on Sunday afternoon.

Courtney Williams added 12 points, Elizabeth Williams had 10 points and eight rebounds and fellow starter Morgan Bertsch scored eight.

Griner had 27 points and 10 rebounds, Diana Taurasi scored 16 and Sug Sutton added 13.

Griner scored the Mercury's first four points of the third quarter as they closed within 43-39.

Courtney Williams answered with a 3-pointer that started a 6-0 run to give the Sky a 49-39 lead.

Consecutive 3-pointers by Sutton and Griner pulled Phoenix within five before Courtney Williams' jumper pushed the lead to 60-53 at the end of the third quarter.

Griner's jumper got the Mercury within 64-61 midway through the fourth quarter.

Courtney Williams answered with a jumper before Taurasi's 3-pointer trimmed the lead to 66-64.

Evans made a free throw and Courtney Williams added a jumper for a five-point lead with two minutes remaining.

Griner converted a three-point play and the Mercury got a stop but turned the ball over with one minute remaining.

Evans made a basket from the lane and Rebekah Gardner added two free throws with 16.1 seconds left for a 73-67 advantage.

Chicago led by as many as four points before Griner made two free throws to conclude the first-quarter scoring and produce an 18-all tie.

Alanna Smith had three points as the Sky scored the first seven points of the second quarter. Taurasi's two free throws produced Phoenix's first points after 2 1/2 minutes.

Elizabeth Williams made two baskets and Copper added a 3-pointer that gave the Sky a 32-22 lead.

Sutton's layup with 9 seconds remaining trimmed the Sky's lead to 41-35 at halftime.

--Field Level Media