It is not Elena Delle Donne’s birthday however the rookie has her name on the cake. Delle Donne hit a game winner to carry the Chicago Sky to a 70-68 win over the Phoenix Mercury on Wednesday night.
It is the biggest shot thus far in the second-overall pick’s young career. “I knew I had a one on one and it was my job to get a shot up,” Delle Donne said. She finished with 18 points while Sylvia Fowles added 13 points and 12 rebounds to the stat sheet.
The Mercury were missing star Diana Taurasi, who was suspended one game for picking up a series of technical fouls throughout the season. She picked up her ninth technical of the season in the third quarter against New York on Tuesday night.
Under WNBA rules, a player or coach is automatically suspended without pay for one game after receiving seven technical fouls during the regular season. For every two additional technicals that regular season, they will be automatically suspended for another game. Taurasi, who is averaging nearly 21 points and 6 assists, sat out a game against Minnesota in July after getting her seventh technical.
Late in the final period, Jasmine James ended the Mercury’s stretch of nine straight misses with a jumper to force a 68-68 tie with 5.8 seconds left in regulation. “Very proud of my teammates, to come on the road and compete with them,” DeWanna Bonner said. “She hit a good shot, it’s exciting for the WNBA.”
The Mercury had their four-game losing streak stymied. The Sky collect their second win a row.