CHICAGO – Behind the vintage performance of a 14-year vet and two-time WNBA champion Candice Parkerseed 2 and WNBA champion Chicago Sky They tied their best of five in the semi-finals against the three seed Connecticut Sun at 1-1 with an 85-77 win Wednesday night at Winterst Arena.
In her second straight playoff game, Parker finished with 22 points, four rebounds, four assists and three blocks — marking her 25-point 20-point playoff career. She ties it up with Tamika Catchings for third place in WNBA history behind Maya Moore (28) and Diana Taurasi (43).
Through the first series of rounds via Sky, you win over New York Liberty And in the first two games of the semifinals against The Sun, two-time WNBA MVP Parker averaged 16.8 points, 11.4 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game, making her the second player in league history with an average of 15/10/5 over Five games in the WNBA Postseason, according to Elias.
But when the 36-year-old Parker was asked if she agreed with some onlookers who thought this was the beginning of her career, she disagreed.
“I don’t think so,” Parker said. “I think the younger CP in the playoffs was more dominant. But I just think understanding the moments and things I didn’t understand mentally when I was fighting to get to the finals or I was fighting to win the playoffs [is the difference]. “
Regardless, one thing is for sure: “I am happy to be playing with her on this series,” teammate Emma Mesman “Because going against it isn’t fun I think,” he said.
Parker’s unforgettable performance coincided with that of another all-time sports legend: in what is expected to be the last tournament of her career, the 40-year-old Serena Williams Defeated Annette Kontaveitthe number 2 player in the world, in three sets in the second round of the US Open.
“When you have the talents of generations [like Parker and Williams]She’s very good, very good and very dominant,” said Sky coach James Wade. And what they’ve tried is like Napa Valley: great wines age well, and you can say the same about these two icons. I think Candice averages maybe five blocks in the game – you can’t put age on that. “
Parker helped put the sky five wins away from doing something the WNBA hasn’t done in two decades: repeat it as a champion. Chicago earned the franchise’s first title last season, a first for Parker with Heaven after spending her entire career playing in Los Angeles SparksWith whom she won a title in 2016.
“It took me nine years to get to the finals,” Parker said. “You have a chance. This team has a chance so we can’t take the chance. If we’re not going to do it, let’s do it because they are so much better than us. So let’s just go out and play basketball. And I think that’s how we’re leading that we just have to have the right mentality.” Coming and we have to set the tone.”
After letting the Sun play their chaotic physical basketball style in Game 1, the sky dictated the flavor of the game early Wednesday, jumping to a 24-14 lead at the end of the first quarter and topping double figures most of the time. Road before a rally in late Connecticut narrowed the score in the fourth round. Chicago returned to its identity of playing with an offense based on player and ball movement and speed, resulting in 22 assists in 32 made baskets and 50.8% shots from the field.
But it was Parker who got the ball, starting the game from 5 to 5 off the field and with a multi and 1 that swung the momentum in Chicago’s favour. It didn’t matter if she was a contender (she went 5 vs 8) or you took her off the dribble (5 vs 7). And when she wasn’t scoring, she made it easy for her teammates, who shot 4 for 7 of her passes.
“She plays great,” he said. Jonquil JonesSun’s top scorer with 23 points. “We just have to keep defending it, make it take difficult shots, try to capture it as soon as possible in the transition and try to make it messy and make everyone uncomfortable, not just her.”
Parker’s defense and rebound were similarly impressive across the series: Aside from her ability to stack paint, she scored 18 boards and six blocks in Game 1 and had another triple of rejections in Game 2 to help Chicago prevent Connecticut from getting hit as well. Comfortable down low. She fell into one short steal on Sunday from scoring the second 5×5 game (5 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals and 5 blocks) in WNBA history—something she did for the first time in her rookie year in 2008.
“She wants to do everything she can to get another championship, which is why I think you see an urgency,” Wade said. “This urgency comes in the form of not taking the offers to play and being your best self at all times.”
Parker and the Sky will travel to Connecticut for the next two games of the series. The tip for Game 3 will be at 1 PM ET on Sunday while Game 4 is set at 8 PM ET on Tuesday.