2021 WNBA Finals – Five things we learned in Game 1 that will determine the WNBA champion

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PHOENIX — The Chicago Sky did something Sunday they didn’t do on their previous trip to the WNBA Finals: win a game. And the two remaining Sky players from that 2014 appearance in the championship series — Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley — played key roles in Chicago getting off to a 1-0 lead over the Phoenix Mercury.

Vandersloot became the first player in WNBA Finals history with at least 10 points, 10 assists, 5 rebounds and 0 turnovers. Quigley struggled a bit with her specialty, the 3-point shot, going 3-of-11 from behind the arc. Yet she was the Sky’s second-leading scorer with 18 points, behind Kahleah Copper’s 21.

In 2014, when the Mercury swept the Sky in the Finals, Phoenix was the league’s undisputed best team. The Sky had a sub-.500 regular-season record but got hot in the playoffs. But they were overmatched in the Finals, especially when then-Sky star Elena Delle Donne was dealing with an injury.

The Sky lost those two Finals games at Phoenix by a combined 50 points, then put up a fight before falling 87-82 in the decisive third game in Chicago. That was seven years ago, and these are very different teams. But Vandersloot and Quigley haven’t forgotten that disappointment.

“We don’t want to relax at all,” Quigley said after Sunday’s 91-77 opening win. “We really want to get two here.”

What will that require? Here are five things we learned from Game 1 and how they could impact Game 2 at Footprint Center on Wednesday (9 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App).

Copper is golden (again)

Nobody has found a way to stop Copper in this postseason. She’s averaging 18.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists in the Sky’s seven playoff games — a big reason Chicago is 6-1.

“I can’t just affect the game scoring,” Copper said, “because I need to get my…



Source : espn

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