WNBA

WNBA Playoffs 2021: Candace Parker helps Chicago Sky punch ticket to Finals by upsetting Connecticut Sun

A wire-to-wire 79-69 victory for the Chicago Sky in Game 4 booked the Chicago franchise's ticket to the 2021 WNBA Finals.

This is the Sky's second-ever appearance at the championship round and the first since 2014. The Game 4 victory is the fifth win in six postseason games for the Sky, who entered the playoffs as the sixth seed.

Prior to eliminating the top-seeded Sun, who had wrapped up the regular season on a 14-game win streak, the Sky had eliminated the Dallas Wings and the Minnesota Lynx in the first two single-game elimination rounds.

In the Game 4 win, Candace Parker recorded a near triple-double of 17 points, nine rebounds and seven assists while also recording two steals and two blocks as the former league MVP led her hometown franchise back to the Finals.

She was one of four players for the Sky to finish in double figures as the Sky overcame and withstood an all-round performance from the recently-crowned MVP in Jonquel Jones, who finished with 25 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks.

Once trailing by as many as 18, the Sun looked like they were making a comeback as they brought the lead down to seven (65-58) through three quarters. However, the Sky won the fourth 14-11 as Parker scored or assisted on seven of those 14 to seal the victory.

Aces use big third quarter, force Game 5

In the latter of the two Game 4s on Wednesday night (ET), the Phoenix Mercury couldn't join Sky in the Finals as the Las Vegas Aces used a big third quarter to win 93-76 and force a win-or-go-home Game 5.

Coming off two blowout defeats, a 26-point loss in Game 2 and a 27-point loss in Game 3, the Aces ensured this game didn't get out of hand early, like it did in the previous two contests. Trailing 11-2 early, Las Vegas fought back hard to lead 49-46 at halftime.

Then, in the third quarter, the Aces grabbed control. They outscored the Mercury 29-11 including a 26-2 run to begin the period.

Aces' Chelsea Gray top-scored with 22 points while also dishing out six assists in just 23 minutes of action, A'ja Wilson bounced back from a rough Game 3 to finish with 15 points, 12 rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Kelsey Plum, the reigning sixth woman of the year, dropped 20 points in 28 minutes.

For the Mercury, their backcourt duo of Diana Taurasi and Skylar Diggins-Smith top-scored with 14 points apiece, a majority of which came in the first half.

The news gets worse for the Phoenix, who were already playing without Sophie Cunningham due to a calf strain, after Kia Nurse appeared to suffer a right knee injury in a collision just 39 seconds into the game.

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