Chicago Sky Win First WNBA Championship As They Top Phoenix Mercury

The Chicago Sky won their first ever WNBA Championship Sunday, taking three games out of four against the Phoenix Mercury.

Chicago Sky Win First WNBA Championship As They Top Phoenix Mercury

By CBS 2’s Marshall Harris and Associated Press writer Casey Drottar

CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — The Chicago Sky won their first ever WNBA Championship Sunday, taking three games out of four against the Phoenix Mercury.

The final score Sunday was 80-74. The sell-out crowd was not disappointed in what they saw transpire, as they broke into Queens’ “We Are the Champions” after the victory.

Ticker tape and confetti flew after the final horn.

Allie Quigley scored 26 points and Candace Parker added 16 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. Courtney Vandersloot added 10 points and 15 assists for the Sky, who won the series 3-1, rallying from a 72-65 deficit with 4:42 left.

“Man, there’s nothing like it,” Parker told CBS 2’s Marshall Harris, “Winning a championship at home – I told Allie, I was like, man, that’s not too bad for two suburban girls, right?”

Marshall asked Parker if this championship meant more to her, given that the Naperville native is back home after having previously won with the Los Angeles Sparks and winning WNBA Most Valuable Player awards twice.

“I think the game was like a microcosm of what the season has been. The season has been hard – I mean, we’ve gone through ups and downs, injuries – all that,” Parker said. “But we still believed. We stayed calm. We stayed the course. It’s unbelievable, man.”

“It’s a moment that I’ll never forget. Right now, it’s still surreal. I can’t even believe – like I haven’t remembered anything from the horn buzzer to me talking to you guys right now, so this is just amazing,” Sky Head Coach James Wade told reporters. Wade is leading the team in his third year as coach.

The Sky scored the next nine points to take a two-point lead on Stefanie Dolson’s layup. She then added another basket to make it 76-72 with 45.8 seconds left.

The Mercury’s Diana Taurasi was fouled on the next possession shooting a 3-pointer and made the first two free throws, but missed the third.

Vandersloot then scored in the lane to seal the victory setting off the celebration.

“We were down nine, down 11 and we stayed with it,” Parker said. “So proud of this group. Sloot doing what she does all year. Allie its amazing.”

As the final buzzer sounded, Parker sprinted to the corner of the court and hugged her family with tears in her eyes.

“Their defense went to another level trapping BG,” Phoenix coach Sandy Brondello said. “We got some good looks, layups. we missed them and they made them. Allie really changed the momentum of the game there.”

It was a full-circle moment for Parker, who triumphantly returned home to Chicago this season after spending 13 years with Los Angeles. She has been continually called the Sky’s missing piece throughout the playoffs, a label she proved accurate many times during Chicago’s stunning run, winning the title as a six-seed.

“It feels amazing. My high school coach is here,” Parker said. “I know Pat’s (Summitt) watching. Got the whole city here. We got the whole city here. We are champions for life now.”

Brittney Griner was a focal point of Phoenix’s offense early on. The seven-time All-Star finished the game with 28 points, 18 of which came in the first half. Griner and guard Skylar Diggins-Smith helped lead a 9-0 run to finish the second quarter and give Phoenix a 44-37 edge at halftime.

Parker initially had trouble getting into a rhythm offensively, going one for six from the floor with just four points by the end of the first half.

Kahleah Copper, who had been a force in the first four games of the finals, earned MVP honors of the championship.

“You know, there was no doubt in my mind that we could win a championship ever. That thought never wavered,” Copper said. “We handled adversity so well – you know, we won seven, we lost seven, but we stayed the course. We trusted our process. And when that playoff hit, we knew we had a new season.”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a tweet congratulating the team. She wrote that the championship was “a first, but not the last.”

GETTING TECHNICAL

Emotions were high for both teams right from the start, as Taurasi and Sky forward Kahleah Copper were each hit with technical fouls within a 50-second span in the first quarter.

PACKED HOUSE

The Sky drew a sell-out crowd despite the Chicago Bears hosting the rival Green Bay Packers just down the street at Soldier Field. The Bears lost to the Packers 24-14.

Chance the Rapper was once again in attendance at Wintrust Arena to support his hometown team.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Source : CBS Chicago More   

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As time runs short, Dems vow: less talk, more action

There's only a few legislating weeks left before year's end, the familiar point at which dealmaking typically hardens into gridlock before a midterm.

As time runs short, Dems vow: less talk, more action

The window is rapidly closing on Democrats' once-in-a-decade opportunity to clinch their agenda.

The party has just a few short weeks to land a deal on its massive social spending bill before returning to a government shutdown deadline and a debt ceiling standoff in the creeping shadow of the midterm election. Democrats are under enormous pressure to finalize Biden's domestic agenda while they hold full control of Washington, but also to use their power to enact policies they've championed for 10 years or more.

The challenge of cutting a deal that can pass is squeezing Democrats’ tiny majorities: They need buy-in from all 50 senators, including reluctant moderates Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, and nearly all their House members. Democrats also recognize, though rarely admit aloud, that this Congress might be the last time in a long time that they control the House, Senate and the White House.

“We have to move from performative losing to enacting laws. And this is our moment to demonstrate that we actually are serious about enacting the things that we run on, not just talking about them every two years,” said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii). “It's just a fact that the trifecta doesn't come around very often, and doesn't last very long ... whatever our window is, we have to understand that it's fleeting.”

Since losing the House in 2010's tea party wave, Democrats devised proposals on paid leave, climate action and early education that Republicans bottled up. If the party doesn’t capitalize now on the chance for a megabill stitching together those priorities, “we will be working on it for well over another decade,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), a leading paid-leave advocate who visited with Biden at the White House last week.

“This is a moment in time, and the lesson is that that moment can escape us, and we can’t miss it,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), a veteran of the decade-old Obamacare battle that saw the flip of a single Senate seat nearly take down the bill. “It’s just an old cliche: We can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer are now facing just a few weeks of congressional sessions before the end of the year, the familiar point at which party dealmaking typically hardens into gridlock before a midterm election. There are also two scheduled recesses in November and a long December layoff that could be in jeopardy without quick action.

In reality the party's window may be a bit shorter than that: Government funding and the debt ceiling both need to be addressed before January, and those exercises can sap all of Congress’s energy. While it’s only year one of Biden’s first term, some Democrats are already reading the tea leaves for next November’s election — particularly in the House — and worry this fall could be their final shot at passing significant legislation.

The next three weeks, a deeply consequential stretch, will be largely focused on forging Democratic consensus on Biden’s social spending package, as the White House, Pelosi and Schumer work to slim that initial $3.5 trillion plan down to roughly half its size.

Publicly, negotiations on that bill have slowed to a crawl over the last two weeks as Biden has failed to secure commitments from Manchin and Sinema. What's more, Manchin and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are locked in a spat over the bill that's certainly not helping.

Still, Democrats close to the discussions insist that behind-the-scenes talks are still ongoing with the two leery centrists.

“I've been in contact with key folks in the House and the Senate. And discussions are continuing in earnest. And so I think we're getting closer and closer. But we have to remember we're lawmakers, we're not law suggesters,” Schatz said.

Sinema, for instance, spoke by phone with Biden, White House advisers and Schumer’s team during last week’s recess, according to her office. Sinema and Manchin also held a call with a handful of House moderates last week to rehash some of their issues with the massive social spending plan, mapping out a possible path forward for it and the Senate-passed infrastructure bill, according to people familiar with the call. Some Democrats hope progress on those negotiations allow the infrastructure bill to pass ahead of Virginia's gubernatorial race, which would set off alarm bells in the party if Republicans win.

Patience in the White House — and in many corners of the Democratic Party — is wearing thin. One administration source confirmed that Biden's team believes it's time for the negotiations to wrap up soon.

But Manchin and Sinema are in no rush, and other centrists say the party-line social safety net bill should no longer be tied to the infrastructure bill. They say passing laws will help Democrats’ keep control of Congress, no matter how those laws are sequenced.

Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) personally delivered that message to Biden when he visited her district earlier this month: “The president understands that people are at risk of losing faith in government, and therefore you have to actually deliver.”

“The best way to make sure you maintain that control is put points on the board,” said Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.). “I am very much in the camp of: Let’s get some of this done. And I think getting this done does not take away from the urgency or the ability to finish out the Build Back Better agenda.”

Pelosi has said she hopes to pass Biden’s infrastructure bill by Oct. 31, when a tranche of transportation programs are set to expire. But that would require securing votes from her liberal members who are still seeking public assurances from Manchin and Sinema that they’ll help pass the party’s broader spending plan.

The dual-track strategy already collapsed once in the House, when Democrats left town in late September without the infrastructure vote that . And some centrists don’t see their odds of passage improving this month without a dramatic escalation in the whip effort by their leadership as well as the White House.

“The Oct 31 deadline is Speaker Pelosi’s deadline. It is not a deadline the entire House voted on, like the Sept. 27 deadline. And even that deadline was violated. So I think it’s hard to imagine the Oct. 31 deadline will hold, if the speaker isn’t willing to get the votes for this bill,” said Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.).

Meanwhile, the internal haggling about what should make it into the bill has intensified as Democrats attempt to craft a roughly $2 trillion package that can satisfy both wings of the party.

Some of Democrats’ long-time priorities could end up on the chopping block, because of fiscal or political implications — or both. That includes a progressive-backed benefits, a nationwide plan or a new .

Other factions of the party are worried their biggest demands, such as allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices or restoring a tax benefit for high-cost states, are also at risk of getting cut.

Rep. Greg Meeks (D-N.Y.) said that the party does agree on one thing — the need to pass more meaningful legislation this year: “That’s why there has to be compromise. That’s why there can’t be any absolutes.”

Marianne LeVine and Heather Caygle contributed to this report.

Source : Politico USA More   

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