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Sky Thu Sep 04 2014
It took 10 years until after the WNBA came into existence to get a Chicago franchise in 2006. The team debuted to a raucous crowd at the UIC Pavilion, but could only muster a 5-29 record during their inaugural season. In 2013, they finally made it to the playoffs for the first time, finishing first in the Eastern Conference during the regular season (their first above .500 record), but losing to Indiana in the first round. Now just a year later, despite barely reaching the playoffs with a 15-19 record, the Sky are heading to the WNBA Finals after avenging last year's playoff elimination to Indiana.
The Sky fell behind in their three-game series with the Fever 1-0, but fought back to tie it up with a thrilling 86-84 double overtime victory in Game 2 back on Monday. Last night, they didn't bother waiting for extra periods. DePaul grad Allie Quigley led the Sky with 24 points on 7-of-9 shooting including four three pointers, while former number two overall pick Sylvia Fowles added 17 points and seven rebounds en route to 75-62 series clinching win.
The Phoenix Mercury await the Sky in the WNBA Finals after dominating Minnesota 96-78 in Tuesday night's deciding Game 3. Former UConn great Diana Taurasi and last year's number one pick Britney Griner lead the Mercury, flanked by Candice Dupree, a former sixth overall pick by the Sky before their inaugural season.
Elena Delle Donne, picked immediately after Griner in last year's draft, will look to bounce back after a down series against Indiana where she averaged just nine points and two rebounds. In the first round series against Atlanta, Delle Donne was dominant, averaging nearly 26 points per game including a 34-point effort that saw her drop 17 in the final quarter of the deciding Game 3.
Games 1 and 2 will take place in Phoenix at the US Airways Center on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. (all times Central), and Tuesday at 8pm. Game 3 is back in Chicago on Friday, September 12 at 7pm, but it won't be at Allstate Arena, where the team has called home during the past five seasons. With the Garth Brooks concert series booked at the venue already, the Sky will return to the UIC Pavilion, where it all started nine years ago.
If necessary, Game 4 will be on Sunday, September 14 at 4:30pm at the Pavilion, and Game 5 would return the series back to Phoenix for a Wednesday night finale at 7pm.