for this game

Mercury edge Sky to claim WNBA title

Sep 13, 2014 - 5:12 AM Chicago, IL ( - Phoenix center Brittney Griner watched from the sidelines as her teammate Diana Taurasi came through in the clutch.

Taurasi converted a three-point play with 14.3 seconds left to help the Mercury complete a three-game sweep of the Chicago Sky with an 87-82 victory.

"We have the best player in the world, Diana Taurasi," Phoenix coach Sandy Brondello said. "When you put the ball in her hands at crunch time, she makes it happen."

Griner, the 2014 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, was unable to play Friday after undergoing an outpatient procedure to correct a retinal issue. But she watched Taurasi score 14 points in the fourth quarter to give the Mercury their third WNBA title.

Taurasi, who became the all-time leading scorer in WNBA Finals history, ended with 24 points for Phoenix, which also won the title in 2007 and 2009. Candice Dupree also had 24 points.

DeWanna Bonner and Penny Taylor tallied 12 and 11 points, respectively, with Bonner also pulling down nine rebounds. Ewelina Kobryn filled in for Griner and ended with eight points and eight boards.

Elena Delle Donne finished with 23 points for the Sky, who had lost the first two games of this series by 21 and 29 points. Sylvia Fowles donated 20 points and eight rebounds.

"It stings right now. It's sad we didn't have the showing we wanted," Sky coach Pokey Chatman said. "I want to credit a team that when they had a man down their All-Star players stepped up.

"There were some crucial times in there we had opportunities to separate. D would hit a big shot, and that's what big-time players do."

Chicago kept it close Friday and actually took its biggest lead of the series late in the third quarter. Allie Quigley bookended a 9-0 run with a 3-pointer and a layup to make it 63-59 Sky.

But Dupree made a jumper with 6.9 seconds remaining to make it a two-point contest heading to the fourth.

The turning point of the game came early in the final stanza. Trailing by three, 67-64, Bonner went up for a layup and was fouled by Jessica Breland. Bonner fell to the floor as Breland inadvertently threw the ball at her face. Breland was hit with a technical foul and Taylor made the ensuing free throw. Bonner followed by making both of her foul shots.

After Breland turned the ball over, Taurasi made a 3-pointer to make it 70-67 Phoenix. Taurasi made a jumper with 6:58 left to cap an 8-0 run.

Chicago fought back with a 9-5 spurt to get within 77-76. It remained tight before Quigley's floater tied the game at 82 with 33.1 seconds to play.

Following a timeout, Taurasi made a running jumper with 14.3 ticks to go. Courtney Vandersloot was called for a foul and Taurasi made the ensuing free throw to complete the three-point play.

Delle Donne missed a 3-pointer at other end, and Taylor made two free throws with 9.3 seconds left for the final score.

Phoenix, which had a WNBA-record 29 wins during the regular season, led 45-43 at halftime.

The game was played at the UIC Pavilion because Allstate Arena was unavailable due to a Garth Brooks concert.