Sky 93, Liberty 64
Elena Delle Donne scored 20 points and Epiphanny Prince added 18 to help Chicago rout New York Sunday.
Led by its prized rookie, Chicago (8-4) has the second-best record in the East, trailing Atlanta by 2 1-2 games. The Sky are trying to make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. They just missed last year, finishing a game behind New York for the conference's final spot.
It turned out well for Chicago, which won the second pick in the draft lottery and took Delle Donne, who leads the WNBA in All-Star voting and is fourth in scoring at nearly 19 points per game.
On Sunday, she had nine points in the first quarter and helped the Sky put the game away in the third.
Cappie Pondexter scored 18 points to lead New York (5-7), which has lost five of its last six games.
Prince, who grew up in Brooklyn, has torched her hometown team the last three times she's played them in New Jersey. The fourth-year guard, who went to school 45 minutes down the road at Rutgers, averaged 28 points in two wins last season. She scored in bunches on Sunday, putting up 11 in the second quarter.
New York returned home off a disappointing road trip where the Liberty dropped three of the four games, including an 87-74 loss at Chicago to kick it off. The Liberty will play three more games at home before heading back out on the road.
"We have four home games in a row, hosting Chicago then going to Chicago," Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer said before the game. "This stretch is big for us as far as positioning in the East."
It didn't get off to a good start.
While New York was coming home, Chicago was making its first trip East this season. Delle Donne, who starred down I-95 in her home state of Delaware, had a huge contingent of fans in attendance. They gave her a warm ovation when lineups were announced pregame and cheered every time she touched the ball.
Lynx 91, Mercury 59
Maya Moore scored 14 of her 23 points in the third quarter and Minnesota earned its 10th straight victory over Phoenix..
Monica Wright added 17 and Lindsay Whalen chipped in 14 for the Lynx, who earned their third victory over the Mercury this season in a winning streak that dates to 2011.
Minnesota's defense set the tone in the first half, holding the league's No. 1 offense to 29 points on 32.5 percent shooting while also forcing nine Mercury turnovers.
WNBA leading scorer Diana Taurasi, who entered the contest averaging 23 points per game, was held to a season-low 4 points on 2-for-6 shooting for the Mercury. She averaged 24.5 points per game in this season's first two meetings against the Lynx.
DeWanna Bonner, the Mercury's second-leading scorer, had seven points on 3-for-13 shooting. She was 0 for 13 in her previous matchup against Minnesota. The victory came at a price, as the Lynx (8-3) lost Seimone Augustus to a left ankle injury in the second quarter. She left with 7:01 to play in the period and did not return.
Phoenix (8-5) had its season-best five-game winning streak snapped and missed a chance to take over the top spot in the Western Conference from the Lynx. Minnesota has held at least a share of first place in the conference for nearly two years - since defeating the Mercury on July 20, 2011.
Candice Dupree led Phoenix with 12 points, while rookie Brittney Griner had eight points and a career-high 11 rebounds
Phoenix grabbed eight offensive rebounds in the first half, but couldn't take advantage, converting just 1 of 9 second-chance opportunities.
Moore then caught fire, scoring eight points during a 14-6 Minnesota run to start the second half. The Lynx led by at least 14 points the rest of the way.
It was a night to forget for the Mercury, who committed a season-high 21 turnovers - the most by a Minnesota opponent this season. Phoenix shot just 36 percent overall, and connected on just 3 of 14 3-point attempts.
The 59 points scored were a season low for the Mercury, and a low for any Lynx opponent this season.
Janel McCarville also finished in double figures with 11 points for Minnesota, which extended its franchise-record home winning streak to 14 games dating to last season.
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