Azura Stevens scored 17 points off the bench as the visiting Chicago Sky defeated the Phoenix Mercury 82-67 in the regular-season finale for both teams Sunday afternoon.
The Sky (26-10) were locked in as the No. 2 seed as the game was getting underway when the Las Vegas Aces clinched the No. 1 seed by defeating Seattle.
The Mercury (15-21), which clinched a playoff berth shortly before tip-off thanks to other results, are the eighth seed.
Chicago will begin its WNBA title defense by hosting the seventh-seeded New York Liberty while Phoenix will visit Las Vegas in another first-round series.
Allie Quigley added 14 points and Emma Meesseman and Kahleah Copper scored 11 apiece for the Sky.
Megan Gustafson had 12 points and 10 rebounds, Jennie Simms added 12 points and eight rebounds, Kaela Davis scored 11 and Diamond DeShields had 10 to lead the Mercury, who played without stars Diana Taurasi (quad) and Skylar Diggins-Smith (personal).
The Sky started the third quarter with an 18-8 run as Quigley hit three 3-pointers and scored 11 points in a little less than two minutes. That gave Chicago a commanding 57-33 lead.
The Mercury got within 17 points twice before the Sky took a 70-46 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Chicago took an early 11-point lead as Phoenix scored just four points in the first 8 minutes of the game while Meesseman had six by herself. Yvonne Turner’s basket ended a 6 1/2-minute scoring drought for the Mercury and Davis added a basket that pulled them within 15-8 at the end of the first quarter.
Stevens scored seven straight points as the Sky built the lead to 24-10 early in the second quarter.
Davis made two free throws and Shey Peddy added a basket to get Phoenix within 10 before Chicago extended the lead to 32-16 on a 3-pointer by Courtney Vandersloot.
The Mercury got within 12 before Copper’s basket gave the Sky a 39-25 halftime lead.
–Field Level Media