For the first time since 2014, the Chicago Sky are back in the finals despite finishing the regular season with just a .500 record.
This will be both the Sky and their future Hall of Fame star player Candace Parker second appearance in the finals in history. Parker’s last time in the finals was 2016 when she played for the Los Angeles Sparks and not only lead them to a win but also secured her first and only (so far) Finals MVP award in her career.
Courtney Vandersloot averaged 19 points and Kahleah Copper added 18 to help the Sky beat the top seed Connecticut Sun 79-69 and advance to the WNBA Finals, winning the series 3-1 on Wednesday night.
Hometown girl Parker average 17 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assist.
The Sky, held a 7-point lead heading into the 4th quarter and opened the period with an 8-2 run that led to the game being put away.
Astou Ndour-Fall hit a layup under the basket with 4:41 remaining, pushing the Sky’s lead to 13 points. Parker then got the home crowd roaring after nailing a three point shot, making the Sky’s victory all but official.
Jonquel Jones led the way for the Sun with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Natisha Hiedeman followed behind her, adding 16 points off the bench, hitting five 3-pointers.
Connecticut was able to trim the deficit to three in the second quarter, but the Sky then finished the half on a 16-6 run. The Sun would never get closer than that the rest of the way.
It will be the first time that the No. 1 seed hasn’t reached the finals since the WNBA changed its playoff format in 2016.
Parker after the game stated that “I want to always bring honor to Pat (Pat Summitt). In these moments, I always remember her.” Summit was Parker’s head coach at the University of Tennessee where she played college basketball.