Since Candace Parker’s return to the court after an eight-game absence with a sprained ankle, the Chicago Sky have made it clear that it is one of the WNBA’s most dangerous teams.
A four-game winning streak with her in the lineup is all the proof they need. Chicago can make it five straight Saturday when it aims for a two-game sweep of the visiting Connecticut Sun at Wintrust Arena.
Parker contributed 15 points, eight rebounds and three assists in 31 minutes during Thursday night’s 81-75 victory, finishing as one of five double-figure scorers for the Sky (6-7). They rallied from a 36-31 halftime deficit, outscoring Connecticut 28-19 in the third quarter and leading by as many as 14 points in the fourth.
“Sometimes, you’re going to have games where you just have to grind it out,” Parker said. “You look at when the season is closing, you want to win those games. That’s what’s special about these games. We had to get healthy and get time together.”
Point guard Courtney Vandersloot became the first player in league history to have multiple games in the same season with at least 12 points, 10 assists, four rebounds and four steals, having also done it on May 23 against the New York Liberty.
Meanwhile, the Sun (8-4) is playing and coaching short-handed for this series. Leading scorer Jonquel Jones (21.6 points, 10.4 rebounds) will miss her third straight game because she’s playing for Bosnia and Herzegovina in an Olympic qualifier, and coach Curt Miller is out because he’s tending to a family emergency in Pennsylvania.
Connecticut was still in position to win before its defense broke down in the second half, allowing 50 points. The Sun got a game-high 20 points from Jasmine Thomas and another 15 from Kaila Charles, who also grabbed a career-high seven rebounds.
–Field Level Media