Candace Parker was back home to bring Chicago a title. She accomplished exactly that by leading the Sky to their first title.
Allie Quigley had 26 points while Parker added 16 points, 13 boards and five assists to help Chicago beat the Phoenix Mercury 80-74 in Game 4.
A champagne-soaked Parker declared, “This one’s so sweet.” It was a pleasure to do it with this group. This group is my favorite, and this team is my favorite. It was meant to be done here at home.
Courtney Vandersloot scored 10 points and provided 15 assists for Sky. The Sky won the series 3-1 after rallying from a deficit of 72-65 with 4:42 remaining. Chicago scored the nine next points to extend its lead to two after Stefanie Dolson’s layup. With 45.8 seconds remaining, she added another basket, making it 76-72.
Diana Taurasi was fouled while shooting a 3-pointer on the next possession. She made the first two free throws but missed the third.
Vandersloot scored in the lane to win the game and start the celebration. Parker ran to the court corner and hugged her family as the buzzer sounded.
Parker stated, “It was incredible to just hug my dad” and “It was amazing,”. It was an incredible feeling to be here and see all the people who have supported you since your beginning. It’s a brief moment when you have to take it all in.
Parker was thrilled to return home to Chicago after 13 years in Los Angeles. She was often called the Sky’s missing link throughout the playoffs. This label she proved to be accurate many times during Chicago’s incredible run, where she won the title as a 6-seed.
It feels incredible. Parker stated that his high school coach is there. “I know Pat (Summitt), is watching. We got the entire city here. The whole city is here. We are now champions of life.”
Brittney Griner was the focal point of Phoenix’s offense in the early stages. The seven-time All-Star scored 28 points in the game, with 18 of those coming in the first half. Griner and Skylar Diggins Smith, Phoenix’s guard, led a 9-0 run in the second quarter to give Phoenix a 44-37 advantage at halftime.
However, Phoenix’s fourth quarter outburst ended all attempts to prevent elimination.
Coach Sandy Brondello of Phoenix said, “It wasn’t our night.” “Allie made some big shots for them. We left her open and she made them. Although it would be great to go back to Game 5, this is not happening.
The Phoenix Mercury players declined invitation to attend the postgame press conference.
Parker struggled to get into a rhythm offensively at first. He went one for six from the floor and had only four points at the half-time.
Phoenix led by 14 points at one point during the third. However, Chicago didn’t lose enough confidence to overcome the gap.
Sky coach James Wade stated that “We stayed together.” It was a microcosmos of our season. You go down, but you keep pushing. The crowd took control, our players stayed together, and it was clear who we were at the end. I didn’t doubt for a second that we would win that game.
Kahleah Copper was a force in the four first games of the finals and earned MVP honors for the championship.
Copper stated, “I have an edginess that is going to keep my going,” Copper said, “It was important to me to be consistent coming into this year and better than last year. If you put in the effort, you will be rewarded.
A OTHER PICTURE
Parker shared a photo she took on the court with her daughter after winning her first Los Angeles championship. Parker keeps the photo and her daughter’s desire for a similar moment convinced her to return home.
Parker replied, “I asked her whether it was okay if I came down to Chicago.” “And she was like, ‘I want another photo like that’,” Parker said.
Both teams were emotional right from the beginning, with Taurasi and Copper each being hit with technical fouls in a span of 50 seconds during the first quarter.
Despite the fact that the Chicago Bears were hosting the Green Bay Packers, the Sky at Soldier Field attracted a sold-out crowd. Chance the Rapper was again there to support his hometown team.
James Wade, a Chicago coach, became the third Black male to win a WNBA title. He joins Michael Cooper, who did it for the Los Angeles Sparks, and Corey Gaines who did it for Phoenix. … Phoenix was 4-0 in the WNBA Finals following losses up to Sunday’s loss.