Top-seeded Aces sweep 1st-round series against Mercury
Sky cruise to record-setting win over Liberty to even series
Chelsea Gray had 27 points and eight assists and hit a career-high seven of Las Vegas' WNBA playoff-record 23 3-pointers and the Aces beat the Phoenix Mercury 117-80 on Saturday night to sweep the best-of-three series.
Las Vegas, which never trailed, also set WNBA playoff marks for consecutive field goals made to open a game (10) and most 3-pointers in a half (11, in the first). The top-seeded Aces beat Phoenix 79-63 on Wednesday.
Kelsey Plum added 22 points for Las Vegas.
Kaela Davis led short-handed Phoenix with 23 points, and Diamond DeShields had 21.
Phoenix was without Diana Taurasi, Skylar Diggins-Smith and Brittney Griner. Taurasi was out with a quadriceps strain, Diggins-Smith stepped away last week for personal reasons and Griner is being detained in Russia on drug charges.
Sky beat Liberty to force Game 3
Kahleah Copper scored 20 points and Courtney Vandersloot added 16 to help Chicago to a record rout of New York 100-62, tying the first-round playoff series Saturday and forcing a decisive Game 3.
The teams will play on Tuesday in New York with a trip to the WNBA semifinals at stake.
Candace Parker added 12 points, 12 rebounds and four assists for the Sky, who broke their own WNBA record for largest margin of victory in the playoffs. Chicago won by 36 at home in Game 3 of the Finals last year.
Cooper opened the scoring with a 3-pointer and then drove hard to the basket. She was also disruptive on defensive, forcing New York into turnovers. The Liberty only had eight miscues in the first game. But they matched that total by the end of the first quarter, with Chicago ahead 31-10. Copper had 10 points in the first quarter.
Chicago extended the advantage in the second quarter to 31, playing relentless defence and cruising to a 52-28 halftime lead. New York could get no closer in the second half as the Sky kept it going offensively and defensively.
Han Xu and Michaela Onyenwere each scored 10 points to lead New York.
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