|10:00 AM PT11:00 AM MT12:00 PM CT1:00 PM ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 AM MST12:00 PM EST21:00 UAE18:0013:00 ET11:00 AM CT16:00 , July 2, 2022
Wintrust Arena, Chicago, Illinois Attendance: 8,028
Candace Parker leads streaking Sky vs. rising Mercury
Paced by Candace Parker, the Chicago Sky are enjoying their hottest run of the season.
They will look for their fifth straight victory Saturday afternoon when they host a Phoenix Mercury squad that also has played well of late, winning three in a row by double-digit margins.
Reigning WNBA champion Chicago (14-5) went 9-2 in June. Parker has averaged 16.3 points and 10.8 rebounds in the four-game win streak and tallied a season-high 25 points -- plus 11 boards and seven assists -- in Wednesday's 91-83 home win over Connecticut.
Averaging 92.3 points in their past seven games, the Sky set a WNBA record by shooting 83.3 percent in the first half against the Sun.
"It's amazing to play this style of basketball," Parker, the first WNBA player to record 6,000 points, 3,000 rebounds and 1,500 assists, told the Chicago Sun-Times.
"I love playing fast, playing reads, playing off of different plays. ... It's fun."
Chicago has won five straight at home, a run that began with a 73-70 victory over Phoenix (9-12) in a 2021 WNBA Finals rematch on May 31.
Courtney Vandersloot (12.4 points, 6.6 assists per game) had 18 points and Parker pulled down 11 boards in that meeting against the Mercury, who had just eight available players and saw All-Star snub Diana Taurasi (16.3 points per game) ejected in the second quarter.
Phoenix, though, is 7-5 since that loss and owns a 14.7 average margin of victory during its three-game win streak -- all while keeping tabs on teammate Brittney Griner's situation in Russia.
During Monday's 99-78 rout of Indiana on Wednesday, All-Star Skylar Diggins-Smith (18.7 points per game) scored 17 to lead seven players in double figures for the Mercury, who shot 54.3 percent from the field, posted 29 assists and just eight turnovers, and received 33 bench points.
"They're tremendous workers, tremendous competitors, and everyone has stepped up," Phoenix coach Vanessa Nygaard told the Arizona Republic.
Diggins-Smith was held to 12 points while the Mercury shot 40 percent at Chicago last month.
It's uncertain if Sky coach James Wade will be back after spending time in the health and safety protocol.
--Field Level Media
Updated July 1, 2022