When the Sky face elimination, they are at their best again in win vs Liberty


BROOKLYN – There is something to be said about a “championship response” in sports.

That’s when a team that’s defending a title bounces back from a bad moment with their season on the line and delivers their best to keep their season going. The Sky certainly did that in Game 2 of their WNBA Playoffs first round series against the Liberty on Saturday and they kept it going in a decisive Game 3 on Tuesday night.

Leading through most of the contest at the Barclays Center, the Sky would finish the contest on a 22-7 run to race past New York 90-72 to take the first round series. They’ll now await the winner of Game 3 of the first round series between the Sun and Wings tonight in the WNBA semifinals, which will start on Sunday at Wintrust Arena at 7 PM.

But the story for the Sky is the way in which they composed themselves in back-to-back elimination games to keep their hopes for a repeat championship alive. Not only did they play well, but they mostly dominated the Liberty in arguably the best back-to-back performances of their season.

It improves the franchise to 10-6 overall in elimination games since they first made the WNBA Playoffs in 2013 with wins in their last four contests with the season on the line. In a deciding Game 3 of a three-game series, the Sky are now 3-1 all-time, with all of the wins coming on the road.

In 2014, the Sky also won their Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Dream at Atlanta then knocked off the Fever in Indianapolis shortly after in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Saturday’s 38-point win at Wintrust Arena was the largest margin of victory in the history of the WNBA Playoffs as the Sky took a 21-point lead after the first ten minutes. Their dominance on Wednesday wasn’t quite as absolute on the road but they were still in control for most of the first half in building a 12-point lead at the break.

The balanced Sky offense would never let the lead go and eventually turn it into a blowout in the closing minutes with six players in double digits. Kahleah Copper and Allie Quigley led the way with 15 points each as the visitors shot 48 percent from the floor and dished out 27 assists.

All of those efforts showed once again that the team is a tough out when facing the prospect of elimination as the Sky take a step closer to a repeat WNBA championship.

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