Diamond DeShields scored 25 points to help the fifth-seeded Chicago Sky roll to a 105-76 home victory over the eighth-seeded Phoenix Mercury on Wednesday night in the opening round of the WNBA playoffs.
Astou Ndour added 16 points and nine rebounds, and Stefanie Dolson had 16 points and seven boards for the Sky, who will visit the fourth-seeded Las Vegas Aces in Sunday's second round. That contest is also an elimination game.
Allie Quigley contributed 15 points and six assists, Cheyenne Parker added 11 points and seven rebounds, and Courtney Vandersloot recorded 11 assists and nine points for Chicago.
DeWanna Bonner scored 21 points, Briann January added 12 and Camille Little had 10 for the Mercury.
Phoenix center Brittney Griner exited with a left knee injury in the second quarter, and she briefly returned at the outset of the third quarter before again leaving the floor. She had six points and three rebounds in 14 minutes.
The Mercury were also without Diana Taurasi (hamstring). Taurasi played in just six games this season after undergoing back surgery prior to the season.
The Sky shot 53.2 percent from the field, including 9 of 18 from 3-point range.
Phoenix hit just 36.9 percent of its attempts and made 5 of 14 3-point shots.
Chicago scored the last basket of the first half on Parker's layup with 0.7 seconds left to take a three-point lead, then erupted for the first 12 of the second half.
DeShields scored five points during the burst, and Dolson capped the run with a 3-pointer to give the Sky a 56-41 with 7:20 left in the third quarter.
The lead reached 73-56 when Jamierra Faulkner drained a 3-pointer in the final minute of the third period.
The Mercury cut their deficit to 73-60 entering the fourth quarter, but the Sky once again expanded the lead.
Quigley made a layup, DeShields converted a three-point play and Ndour scored on a putback during a 7-0 push that gave Chicago a 92-70 lead with 4:36 remaining.
A 3-pointer by Dolson elevated the score to 99-74 with 3:18 left.
The lead topped out at 29 points.
Ndour had 11 first-half points and DeShields scored 10 as Chicago led 44-41 at the break.
--Field Level Media