Chicago Posts Record New York Rout 100-62, Forces Game 3

CHICAGO (AP) — Kahleah Copper scored 20 points and Courtney Vandersloot added 16 to help Chicago to a record 100-62 rout of New York, tying the WNBA First Round playoff series on Saturday and forcing a deciding Game 3.

The teams will play in New York on Tuesday with a trip to the WNBA Semifinals on the line.

Candace Parker added 12 points, 12 rebounds and four assists for the Sky, which broke her own WNBA record for the biggest playoff winning margin. Chicago won by 36 at home in Game 3 of the Finals against the Phoenix Mercury last year.

Defending champion Sky took it from New York after losing Game 1 at home 98-91 on Wednesday night when the Liberty went on a 13-0 run to end the game.

“We knew we had to do something different than what we’ve been doing all regular season,” said Vandersloot, who shot 7 of 10 from the field and grabbed nine rebounds Saturday. “It was our fault, we went out and played a regular season game. You credit New York, they came out and beat us at home. We knew it wouldn’t happen again.”

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Copper reportedly suffered an ankle injury late in practice Friday and had to be helped off the field. Chicago coach James Wade says the 2021 WNBA Finals MVP will be fine. Turns out he was right.

Cooper opened the scoring with a 3-pointer and then drove hard to the basket. She was also disruptive defensively, forcing New York into turnovers. The Liberty made only eight errors in the first game. But they tied that total late in the first quarter, with Chicago ahead 31-10, trailing Cooper’s 10 points. She finished 8th out of 16 in the field.

Chicago extended the second-quarter advantage to 31, playing relentless defense and leading to a 52-28 halftime lead. New York couldn’t come close in the second half as the Sky continued offensively and defensively.

Han Xu and Michaela Onyen each scored 10 points to lead New York. Sabrina Ionescu shot 3 of 5 for seven points and added three assists. Natasha Howard finished 3 of 9 for eight points. In Wednesday’s win, Ionescu and Howard both scored 22 points.

The Liberty finished 3 of 20 from 3-point range.

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