Kahleah Copper's game-high 22 point game Friday helped the Chicago Sky get one step closer to winning the team's first WNBA title.
The Sky beat the Phoenix Mercury 86-50 at a sold-out Wintrust Arena. The team will play in Game 4 Sunday, potentially winning a championship in front of a home crowd.
"The entire city showed up," said Candace Parker, who scored 13 points in Game 3. "I mean I pulled up to the game and people were lined up 2-3 hours before. So we knew the energy was going to be great and we had to do our part."
The crowd featured a star-studded cast with Chance the Rapper, Reverend Jesse Jackson and Chicago Bears players Justin Fields and Roquan Smith in attendance.
"I really feel Chicago, I really feel it," Sky head coach James Wade said. "The way they (fans) came out and they support, you can feel the passion that they have and it gives us more. Gives us more passion and so, hopefully we can see the same thing Sunday and we can all celebrate together."
Guard Diamond DeShields — daughter of former Chicago Cub Delino DeShields — finished Friday's game with 11 points, 2 assists and 5 rebounds. DeShields said that possibly winning her first career championship at home would be really special. She recalled when Wade first came to Chicago in 2019 and talked about what the team wanted to accomplish.
"It would be an incredible accomplishment," DeShields said." Not only just because we won, but just because of who we could do it with. This group is really special. It would mean a lot."
Wade won 2019 WNBA Coach of the Year after guiding stars like DeShields, Allie Quigley and Courtney Vandersloot to next-level play. In Game 3, Vandersloot recorded the most assists in a single postseason (87) in WNBA history. Prior to the game, she was named to the All-WNBA second team for the third time in her career.
The Sky's front office packed the roster in adding two-time MVP Parker to the roster in February. Parker has been nothing but a spark to the Sky's offense since. After Friday's game, Parker tied with Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore for second all-time in WNBA Playoffs history with 378 made field goals.
Parker, the first overall pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft, looks to capture her second WNBA championship in her career. She won her first with the Los Angeles Sparks in 2016.
"I was telling my team I'm 0-2 in Game 4 closeout at home," Parker said. "I don't want that to continue. We know that they're (Mercury) a fantastic team and they're gonna come in and they're gonna be ready. They're gonna get rest and they're gonna come back stronger. We got to do our part."
The Sky will play the Mercury in Game 4 on Sunday in front of another sold-out crowd at Wintrust Arena.