Chicago Sky

WNBA Finals 2021: Candace Parker leads hometown Chicago Sky to first championship, defeating the Phoenix Mercury

Candace Parker (Chicago Sky) WNBA Finals
(NBA Getty Images)

The Chicago Sky are the 2021 WNBA champions!

Led by veteran Candace Parker, the Sky sealed the title with an 80-74 win over the Phoenix Mercury at a sold-out Wintrust Arena, bringing the franchise their first-ever WNBA championship since they entered the league in 2006.

Parker, who returned to her hometown this season after spending the previous 13 seasons of her WNBA career with the Los Angeles Sparks, poured in 16 points, 13 rebounds and five assists, as the Sky overcame a nine-point deficit after three quarters, scoring 15 of the game's final 17 points.

Allie Quigley led the Sky with 26 points, knocking down 5-of-10 from the 3-point line, while Courtney Vandersloot recorded 10 points and 15 assists and Kaleah Cooper, who was named FInals MVP added 10 points.

"Everything that this team went through the entire year prepared us for this," Parker said." We were down nine, we were down 11. We just got to stay with it, and that's what we've done all season. I am so proud of this group, with our fight, next man up mentality.

With the game going down to the wire, Parker tied things up at 72-72 with two minutes remaining, before Stefanie Dolson gave them the lead with a layup to, capping off a 9-0 run.

Dolson came up clutch once again with another bucket off a Courtney Vandersloot dime. Diana Taurasi's two free throws cut the deficit to two points, before Vandersloot iced the game with a turnaround jumper with 23.7 seconds remaining and a pair of free throws.

After finishing the regular season with a 16-16 record, the No.6 seed Sky are the lowest seed to win the championship since the WNBA went to its current playoff format in 2016.

Brittney Griner led the Mercury with a game-high 28 points, while Taurasi and Skylar Diggins-Smith scored 16 points apiece. The Mercury's Big 3 scored 60 of the team's 74 points in Game 4.

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