WNBA

Mercury-Sky Preview

Share This Story

   
 

Having already secured the top seed in the Eastern Conference, Elena Delle Donne and the Chicago Sky are gearing up for the franchise's first playoff appearance.

The Phoenix Mercury are headed back to the postseason thanks in part to Britney Griner.

After getting the best of Griner in the first matchup between these star rookies, Delle Donne tries to lead Chicago to its first season sweep of visiting Phoenix, which will be without leading scorer Diana Taurasi on Wednesday night.

The Sky (22-9) endured seven losing seasons before selecting Delle Donne second overall in this year's draft, one spot behind Griner. The former University of Delaware standout has averaged 18.3 points to rank among the WNBA leaders, transforming Chicago into one of the league's elite teams.

Delle Donne shot 6 of 18 but scored a game-high 22 points after making a couple key shots down the stretch in Sunday's 93-79 win at Washington, Chicago's seventh victory in eight games.

"I never feel like (Delle Donne) misses a lot of shots, and I always feel like every shot is going in," coach Pokey Chatman said of Delle Donne, who is shooting 42.0 percent from the field. "I'm glad she felt like she didn't make any. Maybe she'll come out more aggressive on Wednesday against Phoenix."

Delle Donne shined brightly in her much-anticipated WNBA debut against Griner, posting 22 points, eight rebounds and four blocks in a season-opening 102-80 road win May 27. Griner, meanwhile, became the first WNBA player to dunk twice in one game, finishing with 17 points, eight boards and four blocks.

While the Mercury (18-13) missed out on last year's playoffs, they are back in the postseason after going 8-2 under interim coach Russ Pennell. Griner is fourth on the team with 13.0 points per game and is averaging a league-leading 3.0 blocks.

She blocked four shots Tuesday while Candice Dupree and DeWanna Bonner each had 18 points in an 80-76 win over New York.

Phoenix now seeks a season-high fifth consecutive victory.

"We starting to get healthy and play better, but it's not like there's a switch we can just turn on and off," said Taurasi, who added 17 points, nine assists and six boards.

Taurasi, averaging 20.8 points to rank second in the WNBA, will serve a one-game suspension after receiving her ninth technical foul for flailing.

"At least I'll get the day off," she said with a smile.

With Taurasi out, the Mercury could look to Penny Taylor to pick up the slack. Taylor scored 12 points off the bench, including 10 straight in the third quarter, in her second game back since missing 13 with a right knee injury.

"I'm just trying to work some of the rust off," she said. "I'm getting better day by day and will keep working at it."

Despite their loss earlier this year, the Mercury are 12-3 all-time against the Sky.

Phoenix will need to keep a close eye on Epiphanny Prince, who has scored 40 points while going 8 of 9 from 3-point range in the last two games.

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


FOX SPORTS Videos

Gruden not concerned about RG3's knee Posted: Jul 31, 2014
New Redskins head coach Jay Gruden believes RG3 is healthy and his knee could be...

Klatt: CFB Playoff is season's top storyline Posted: Jul 30, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Joel Klatt says the new College Football Playoff is the season's ...

Horsin' around with Eric Chavez Posted: Jul 30, 2014
FOX Sports Arizona's 10th Inning got an up-close look at the home/horse property...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Mitchell & Ness Boston Celtics #33 Larry Bird Green Authentic Throwback Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Boston_Celtics/browse/featuredproduct/118804/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_118000/FF_118804_xl.jpg&w=100 249.95 Mitchell & Ness Boston Celtics #33 Larry Bird Green Authentic Throwback Jersey
    adidas Los Angeles Lakers Purple Primary Logo T-shirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/172442/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_172000/FF_172442_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 adidas Los Angeles Lakers Purple Primary Logo T-shirt
    adidas Miami Heat Black Primary Logo T-shirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/173566/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_173000/FF_173566_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 adidas Miami Heat Black Primary Logo T-shirt
    adidas Chicago Bulls Red Primary Logo T-shirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Chicago_Bulls/browse/featuredproduct/173568/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_173000/FF_173568_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 adidas Chicago Bulls Red Primary Logo T-shirt
    adidas Boston Celtics #33 Larry Bird White Hardwood Classics Swingman Basketball Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Boston_Celtics/browse/featuredproduct/177922/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_177000/FF_177922_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Boston Celtics #33 Larry Bird White Hardwood Classics Swingman Basketball..
    adidas Atlanta Hawks #21 Dominique Wilkins Red Hardwood Classics Swingman Basketball Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Atlanta_Hawks/browse/featuredproduct/177923/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_177000/FF_177923_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Atlanta Hawks #21 Dominique Wilkins Red Hardwood Classics Swingman Basket..
    adidas Los Angeles Lakers #32 Magic Johnson Hardwood Classics Swingman Basketball Jersey - Gold http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/177924/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_177000/FF_177924_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Los Angeles Lakers #32 Magic Johnson Hardwood Classics Swingman Basketbal..
    adidas New York Knicks #19 Willis Reed Royal Blue Hardwood Classics Swingman Basketball Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/178326/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_178000/FF_178326_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas New York Knicks #19 Willis Reed Royal Blue Hardwood Classics Swingman Bas..
    adidas Philadelphia 76ers #6 Julius Erving Royal Blue Hardwood Classics Swingman Basketball Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Philadelphia_76ers/browse/featuredproduct/178582/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_178000/FF_178582_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Philadelphia 76ers #6 Julius Erving Royal Blue Hardwood Classics Swingman..
    adidas Houston Rockets #34 Hakeem Olajuwon Red Hardwood Classics Swingman Basketball Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Houston_Rockets/browse/featuredproduct/178773/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_178000/FF_178773_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Houston Rockets #34 Hakeem Olajuwon Red Hardwood Classics Swingman Basket..