Elena Delle Donne came back from an ankle injury to lead a second-half surge and finish with 33 points in the Chicago Sky’s 74-64 victory over the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday.
Chicago (14-9), swept by Phoenix (14-8) last year in the WNBA Finals, beat the Mercury for the first time in seven meetings. Phoenix’s winning streak ended at five games.
Delle Donne sat out nearly 6 minutes in the second quarter after turning her left ankle and Chicago trailed 37-33 at the half. She scored 13 of her 16 third-quarter points during a 19-2 run to open the second half and the Sky finished the quarter leading 57-43. Phoenix wasn’t able to get closer than seven.
Delle Donne was 11 of 18 from the floor, including 5 of 9 from 3-point range.
Phoenix’s Brittney Griner had 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting and added 14 rebounds for her sixth double-double this season.
The first year of the post-Elena Delle Donne era for the Chicago Sky did not go well.
The Sky limped to a 12-22 record without the former WNBA MVP and scoring champ. As the Bulls are about to experience, the upside of a losing season is a high draft pick the next year.
The Sky had the third and fourth picks in the draft, which took place on Thursday, and snagged a pair of players from powerhouse programs in women's college basketball.
At No. 3 the Sky picked up Diamond DeShields from Tennessee. She led the Lady Vols in scoring in the 2016-17 season, but that was her junior year. She elected to sign overseas with Cukurova in Turkey instead of playing out her final year of eligibility. The New York Times profiled her just ahead of the WNBA draft.
Oh, and she's also the daughter of former major leaguer Delino DeShields and her brother, Delino DeShields Jr., is currently an outfielder for the Texas Rangers.
At No. 4, the Sky picked up UConn forward Gabby Williams. Williams started every game in each of the last two seasons for the Huskies, which went undefeated in the regular season and made the Final Four both of those seasons.
ROSEMONT — Jonquel Jones scored 19 of her career-high 23 points in the second half and finished with 21 rebounds to help the Connecticut Sun beat the Chicago Sky 97-79 on Sunday night.
Jones, who set her previous career best of 20 rebounds on May 13, became the 12th player in WNBA history with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds in a game. Alyssa Thomas had 17 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals and Lynetta Kizer scored 16 with seven rebounds for Connecticut (1-4), which won its first game of the season.
Kizer’s jumper midway through the first quarter made it 14-13 and the Sun led the rest of the way. Jessica Breland hit two free throws to pull Chicago (1-5) within four with 4:37 left in the third, but Jones scored seven points during a 10-3 run over the next three-plus minutes and the Sky got no closer.
Tamera Young led Chicago with 17 points. She has at least one made 3-pointer in each of the last five games after going nearly five calendar years (June 23, 2011) since her last 3.