Mercury star Diana Taurasi ejected early in Finals rematch with Sky

Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi
Diana Taurasi was ejected on Tuesday night in Chicago. (Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images)

Diana Taurasi didn’t even make it to halftime on Tuesday night.

The Phoenix Mercury star was tossed early in what quickly became a contentious rematch of last season’s WNBA Finals at Wintrust Arena.

Taurasi drove to the lane against Chicago Sky star Candace Parker with less than four minutes to go in the second quarter. As Taurasi created space before taking a floater in the lane, Parker reached out and slapped Taurasi’s arm as she went up. The slap wasn’t much, but it was enough to send the shot off the mark, allowing Parker to grab the rebound and start taking the ball the other way.

After a foul wasn't called, Taurasi was livid. She started screaming at the official under the basket almost instantly. Within a handful of seconds, Taurasi had picked up two technical fouls and was ejected from the game.

Taurasi finished with five points and two rebounds after shooting 2-of-6 from the field in 13 minutes.

“Her whole arm is scratched up and bleeding,” Mercury head coach Vanessa Nygaard said after the game, via AZCentral’s Jeff Metcalfe. “That was out of line … There’s blood dropping off her and it’s not a foul, and you expect her not to be upset. And she’s been hit multiple times before … I’ll let my players know they can draw blood, no foul will be called.”

Taurasi's ejection seemed to spark the Mercury briefly, but it didn't make a positive difference in the end. Chicago hung on to take a 73-70 win, thanks largely to a defensive stand in the final period where it held the Mercury to 11 points.

Tina Charles led Phoenix with 25 points and seven rebounds in the loss, which marked its sixth straight and seventh in nine games. Skylar Diggins-Smith added 12 points, and Diamond DeShields finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. They were the only three Mercury players to hit double figures.

Courtney Vandersloot led Chicago with 18 points while shooting 6-of-12 from the field. Kahleah Cooper added 11 points and seven rebounds, and Parker finished with five points and 11 rebounds. The Sky have won three of their last four.