ATLANTA – Elena Delle Donne scored 17 of her 34 points in the fourth quarter, including the winning jumper with 8.4 seconds left, as the Chicago Sky rallied from 20 points down to beat the Atlanta Dream 81-80 on Tuesday night to advance to the Eastern Conference finals.
Chicago will face the Indiana Fever in a best-of-three series that starts Saturday in Indianapolis.
“I just know that when we were in huddles and I was talking to the team, everyone had that look in their eye like we were not done yet — we were not ready to go home,” said Delle Donne, who was 10 of 19 from the field. “So I was very confident.”
The Sky, which trailed by 16 after three quarters, became the first team to rally from such a deficit in a playoff game since the league went to four quarters in 2006, according to information from the Elias Sports Bureau.
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Such comebacks have been made three times in regular-season games.
Tamera Young scored 16 points and Sylvia Fowles added 13 points and 15 rebounds as the Sky won a playoff series for the first time in franchise history. Chicago was swept by Indiana in the first round last year in the Sky’s first postseason appearance.
The road team won each game in this best-of-three series, with Chicago taking the opener 80-77 on Friday and Atlanta winning 92-83 in Game 2 on Sunday.
Erika de Souza scored 18 points and Angel McCoughtry had 17 for Atlanta, which reached the WNBA Finals in three of the past four seasons.
McCoughtry was 5 of 18 from the field.
“I think we got away from what we were doing well,” Dream coach Michael Cooper said. “I thought the execution of our offense kind of went out the window a little bit.”