Brittney Griner scored 29 points and Diana Taurasi had eight of her 20 points in overtime when host Phoenix Mercury tied the WNBA final 1-1 with a 91-86 win over Chicago Sky on Wednesday night.
Skylar Diggins-Smith contributed 13 points and 12 assists and Shey Peddy scored 10 for fifth-seeded Mercury.
Games 3 and 4 of the best-of-five series will be played Friday evening and Sunday in Chicago, both live on Sky Sports.
Skywatch Courtney Vandersloot had 20 points, 14 assists and five steals and forced overtime with a tortuous drive and layup in the closing seconds of regularisation.
Allie Quigley scored 19, Kahleah Copper had 15 points and nine rebounds, and Candace Parker added 13 points with nine boards for sixth-seeded Sky.
Taurasi started extra time with a four-point play, and Diggins-Smith followed with a basket for an 85-79 Mercury lead.
Quigley’s three-pointer started with a 7-1 run that even brought Chicago to 2:20. Taurasi’s triple nearly a minute later and Diggins-Smith’s layup with 12.8 seconds left gave the Mercury a 91-86 lead.
As is typical of the player recently named the WNBA’s greatest ever, Taurasi scored 18 of her 20 points after halftime.
Quigley’s basket started the third quarter with scoring and broke a 40-all halftime tie before the Mercury scored the next four points. Parker then scored seven runs on a 9-0 run that gave Chicago a 51-44 lead.
The Sky led by a whopping eight before taking a 63-57 lead at the end of the period.
Taurasi made two three-pointers as Phoenix took the lead 65-63 and again took a 70-69 lead on Griner’s three-point play.
Quigley’s three-pointer put Chicago back on top before the baskets of Brianna Turner and Griner gave Phoenix a 74-72 lead with 2:46 left.
Vandersloot’s layup tied the score before Griner’s and Peddy’s baskets gave the Mercury a 78-74 lead with 27.4 seconds to go.
Copper’s three-point play pulled the Sky in 78-77 with 14.1 seconds left, but Peddy, a 96.2 percent career free-throw shooter, made just one of two free throws before Vandersloot’s layup forced overtime.