Cheyenne Parker’s late basket boosts Sky past Mystics

Gabby Williams and Parker each scored 16 points as the Sky improved to 3-1.

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Shey Peddy and Allie Quigley

Sky guard Allie Quigley (right) defends against Mystics guard Shey Peddy on Saturday. Quigley finished with 15 points, four assists and four rebounds.

BRADENTON, Fla. — Gabby Williams and Cheyenne Parker each scored 16 points, Courtney Vandersloot had a late steal and the Sky slipped past the reigning WNBA champion Mystics 88-86 on Saturday.

Allie Quigley added 15 points, Kahleah Copper 14 and Diamond DeShields — who has seen limited action as she recovers from a knee

injury — 10 for the Sky (3-1), which shot 51.4%.

The Mystics’ Aerial Powers split two free throws to tie the score at 84 before Parker made a layup to give the Sky the lead. After Ariel Atkins made two free throws to pull the Mystics (3-1) even again, Parker made a short jumper with 5.9 seconds left to give the Sky an 88-86 lead. She was fouled on the basket but missed the free throw.

The Mystics then called a timeout to set up a play to force overtime or win the game, but Vandersloot stole a pass from Emma Meesseman to seal the Sky’s victory.

Atkins scored 24 points and Powers 20 for the Mystics, who came into the game as the last unbeaten team in the league but shot only 41.9%. Myisha Hines-Allen added 13 points and 12

rebounds and Leilani Mitchell 12 points for the Mystics.

The Mystics are playing this season without 2019 WNBA most valuable player Elena Delle Donne, who is sitting out because of coronavirus concerns. Delle Donne, who spent the first four seasons of her career (2013-16) with the Sky, has suffered from Lyme disease for more than a decade and was worried that could put her at higher risk for contracting the virus.

The Sky opened the fourth quarter with an 11-2 run to take a nine-point lead, but the Mystics answered with a 12-4 burst shortly thereafter to pull to 79-76 with about three minutes left.

Williams made a three-pointer to give the Sky a six-point lead, but Hines-Allen made two free throws before Atkins made a three-pointer and two free throws in a 7-0 spurt that gave the Mystics an 83-82 edge with 1:14 left.

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