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

BROOKLYN — There is something to be said for a “championship response” in esports.

That’s when a team defending a title bounces back from a bad moment with their season on the line and does their best to keep the season going. The Sky did so in Game 2 of their WNBA Playoffs first-round series against the Liberty on Saturday and followed up in a crucial Game 3 on Tuesday night.

The Sky led through most of the competition at Barclays Center and finished the competition on a 22-7 run to overtake New York 90-72 to win the first round. They now await the winner of Game 3 of the first round series between Sun and Wings tonight in the WNBA Semifinals, which begins Sunday at 7:00 p.m. at Wintrust Arena.

But the story for Sky is the way they stacked up in back-to-back elimination games to keep their hopes of a championship repeat alive. Not only did they play well, but for the most part they dominated the Liberty in what was arguably their best consecutive performances of the season.

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

In 2014, Sky also won their Eastern Conference Semifinal Series against the Dream in Atlanta and shortly thereafter defeated the Fever in Indianapolis in the Eastern Conference Finals.

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Saturday’s 38-point win at Wintrust Arena was the biggest win in WNBA playoff history as Sky took a 21-point lead after the first ten minutes. Their dominance on Wednesday wasn’t quite so absolute away, but they were still in control for most of the first half and extended a 12-point lead at the break.

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

All of that effort has shown once again that the team is tough when it comes to elimination as Sky moves one step closer to a repeat of the WNBA championship.

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