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Sky vs. Mercury, Game 3 halftime score: Phoenix leads 45-43 without injured Brittney Griner

The Phoenix Mercury entered Game 3 without center Brittney Griner on the road, but still managed to establish a lead over the Chicago Sky at halftime.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

If you weren't sure about how much of an impact 6-foot-8 Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner was having on this series, her absence in the first half of Game 3 should have made the point the clear.

With Griner out of the game, the Chicago Sky have pounded the ball inside to Sylia Fowles to help her lead the team in scoring with a game-high tying 14 points while Mercury center Ewelina Kobryn picked up her third foul with 2:36 left in the first half. Elena Delle Donne, who has been dealing with back problems throughout the playoffs, has looked about as good as she has been all series with 11 points on 4-for-8 shooting.

The Mercury have stayed in this game by continuing to shoot the ball extremely well. Despite a 4-for-10 shooting performance for 10 points from Diana Taurasi, Phoenix shot a blistering 57.1% from the field in the first half. Candice Dupree has been picking up the slack in typically efficient fashion scoring 10 of her 14 points in the second quarter.

Fowles' 8 points in the first quarter of this game was more than she scored in all 23 of her minutes in Game 2. But even with Fowles have her best game of the series in Griner's absence, they still have to figure out how to stop the Mercury who could be expected to get better offensively in the second half if Taurasi really starts to take over.

For more on this game, check out our Mercury vs. Sky storystream.