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WNBA: Mercury rallies in overtime to beat Sky again

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Skylar Diggins-Smith scored 28 points and the Phoenix Mercury rallied from a double-digit fourth-quarter deficit for the second time in as many games against the Chicago Sky en route to a 77-74 overtime win Thursday in Phoenix.

Brittney Griner added 16 points and 12 rebounds for Phoenix (5-3), which secured its first home win in three tries this season.

The loss marked Chicago’s sixth straight, and its third by one possession.

Thursday’s contest followed a similar arc to the Mercury’s 84-83 win in Chicago on Tuesday, with Phoenix surging ahead to a double-digit lead early then falling behind and having to rally late.

After trailing by 10 points in the second quarter and eight at intermission Thursday, Chicago (2-6) held Phoenix to just nine third-quarter points. Kahleah Copper outscored the Mercury on her own, with 10 of her team-high 14 points in the period.

With six players scoring at least eight points, Chicago surged ahead by 13 points (59-46) in the fourth quarter.

But the Mercury’s 14-4 run to close out regulation, including the final five points from Diggins-Smith, bridged the gap to force overtime. Diggins-Smith’s game-tying free throw with 37.6 seconds left was the result of a technical foul on Chicago’s Courtney Vandersloot.

In overtime, Phoenix rallied once more from down 72-67, outscoring Chicago 10-2 down the stretch.

Four of five Mercury starters scored in double figures. Kia Nurse, who hit the buzzer-beating game-winner on Tuesday, finished with 14 points. Megan Walker added 11 points, including 3-of-6 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc.

Brianna Turner played a strong all-around game, posting eight points, nine rebounds and a team-high six assists to help Phoenix.

The Sky bench outscored the Mercury reserves 25-0, led by eight points apiece from Allie Quigley and Azura Stevens. But it was not enough to overcome the inside-out combination of Diggins-Smith and Griner.

In the course of her double-double, which included three blocked shots, Griner joined Lisa Leslie as just the second player in WNBA history with at least 4,000 points and 650 blocks.

–Field Level Media

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