Phoenix Mercury hold off Chicago Sky in overtime in Game 2 to even WNBA Finals

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Mercury rallied in the fourth quarter Wednesday night and Diana Taurasi starred in overtime to edge the Chicago Sky 91-86 and even the WNBA Finals at 1-1.

Game 3 of the best-of-5 series is Friday in Chicago.

Leading 63-57 after the third quarter, the Sky turned back a Mercury charge led by Taurasi on consecutive 3-pointers by Stefanie Dolson and Allie Quigley and appeared to lead 72-65 with 5:57 left.

After a replay review, though, a Diamond DeShields 3-pointer was ruled to be after the shot clock, cutting the Sky lead to four.

Brianna Turner scored on an alley-oop pass from Skylar Diggins-Smith, followed by a Brittney Griner 3-point play, putting the Mercury ahead 70-69 at 4:39.

Brittney Griner, left, had a game-high 29 points and Skylar Diggins-Smith had 13 for the Mercury in their Game 2 win.

Brittney Griner, left, had a game-high 29 points and Skylar Diggins-Smith had 13 for the Mercury in their Game 2 win.

Quigley answered for the Sky with a 3-pointer, then Turner scored on a layup after a steal for 72-all at 3:45. Griner scored off a pass from Diggins-Smith at 2:46 for a two-point Mercury lead.

Even with the large home crowd, including members of the Phoenix Suns, on its feet cheering and doing the wave, Courtney Vandersloot scored on a drive for 74-74 at 2:32.

The Mercury missed three shots but retained possession with 1:33 left after a video review of a ball knocked out of bounds.

Griner scored on a three-footer at 1:22 for 76-74. The Sky missed twice before Turner rebounded for Phoenix. Shey Peddy drove for a score for a four-point lead with 27.4 seconds left.

Kahleah Copper rebounded a Sky miss, scored and complete a three-point play, cutting the Mercury lead to 78-77 at 14.1 seconds.

Vandersloot fouled Peddy at 10.3. Peddy missed her first free throw and made the second for a two-point lead.

Out of a timeout, Vandersloot drove for a tying layup with 4.4 ticks remaining.

The Mercury took timeout. Taurasi inbounded for Griner, but the pass was stolen by Candace Parker, sending the game to overtime.

How overtime went down

In the five-minute overtime, Taurasi, the WNBA’s career scoring leader, made a 3-pointer and subsequent free throw after being fouled for an 83-79 lead.

Diggins-Smith scored on a finger roll at 3:47 for a five-point lead early in the extra period.

Quigley hit a 3-pointer, helping Chicago to pull back within two, 86-84, then pull even at 2:20 on an Azura Stevens drive.

Griner blocked Copper on a drive at 1:34 with the ball going out of bounds to Phoenix.

Taurasi knocked down another 3-pointer for an 89-86 lead at 1:24, then stole the ball from Vandersloot with 34 seconds left.

Diggins-Smith killed some clock, then scored off a crossover on Vandersloot for a five-point lead at 12.8 seconds.

Dolson missed a long 3-pointer, followed by a Vandersloot miss as the Mercury rebounded from a Game 1 loss just like they did in the semifinals against Las Vegas.

Griner led Phoenix with 29 points and nine rebounds. Taurasi scored 20 and Diggins-Smith 13.

Four Sky starters scored in double figures led by Vandersloot with 20.

Griner dunks in first quarter

The Mercury trailed all of the first quarter and much of the second, including by eight (30-22) with 7:41 left until halftime.

Diggins-Smith and Cunningham hit consecutive 3-pointers to fuel an 8-0 Mercury run to tie it at 30-all. Neither team led by more than two points the rest of the quarter.

The Mercury went ahead for the first time (38-36) late in the half on Turner’s alley-oop conversion off a Diggins-Smith pass. Copper scored the final basket of the second for a 40-40 halftime tie, an improvement for the Mercury after trailing by 11 at halftime of Game 1.

The 6-9 Griner dunked at 5:35 of the first quarter, her sixth of the season, most in her career for a single season. It was her second career postseason dunk and 19th in the regular season and postseason, most in WNBA history.

Griner scored the Mercury’s first 10 points and had 14 at halftime.

The Mercury had a 20-14 edge in the second quarter after trailing 26-20 after the first when the Sky shot 60%. Chicago’s shooting was down to 48.7% at halftime but well ahead of the Mercury’s 35.7% (down from 50% after the first quarter).

Cunningham played for the first time in four games, returning from a calf injury. She started in place of Peddy.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: WNBA Finals: Mercury hold off Sky in OT in Game 2 to even series