After taking each other’s best punches in a thrilling series opener, the top-seeded Connecticut Sun and sixth-seeded Chicago Sky will do battle again Thursday night in Game 2 of their best-of-five semifinal series in Uncasville, Conn.
Chicago pulled out a 101-95 victory in double overtime in Game 1 on Tuesday night. Candace Parker turned back the clock with a 22-point performance while Courtney Vandersloot rewrote the history books with a triple-double and a WNBA playoff-record assist tally.
Vandersloot eclipsed Sue Bird’s playoff assists record with 18 helpers and added 12 points and 10 rebounds to join Hall of Famer Sheryl Swoopes as the only players to record a triple-double in the WNBA postseason.
“This is what I’m here for. Calling my number when we need it, but (primarily) facilitating,” Vandersloot said. “I’m just out here doing my job, just like they (my teammates) all are.”
It was the third straight win during these playoffs for a Sky team that entered the playoffs seemingly flailing with four losses in six games.
“They came in, they were in rhythm, they executed their gameplan defensively,” said Sun center and league Most Improved Player Brionna Jones, who had 22 points and 10 rebounds. “There were some missed opportunities for us defensively, missed assignments that we’re usually on top of.”
Newly minted WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones led all scorers with 26 points and grabbed 11 boards to lead Connecticut. DeWanna Bonner added 13 points and 10 boards for a Sun team that was limited to 37.8 percent shooting.
“It was a tough matchup, but we were just tougher tonight,” Sky guard Allie Quigley said after her 19-point outing.
The Sun had won 14 straight to cap the regular season before a nine-day layoff leading up to their third loss in four meetings with Chicago this season.
“That’s kind of the good and the bad about having a bye. We was riding the wave for a little bit,” Bonner said. “Not saying that’s why they won that game. Like I said, they played a (heck) of a basketball game.”
–Field Level Media