Sky bounce back to tie series up against Sun
Allie Quigley said after the Game 1 loss to the Connecticut Sun that she was confident the Sky would force their will and play their style in Game 2.
Led by Candace Parker’s dominant performance, Chicago did just that.
The Sky set the tone to force the Sun to play at Chicago’s pace and speed, taking Game 2 to tie the best-of-5 WNBA Semi-Finals series up at 1 apiece with the 85-77 win over the Sun.
“I thought the approach was good,” head coach James Wade said after the game. “I was pretty pleased with our first quarter. I thought we didn’t go through the lows we went through in the first game. I thought we were focused. We had our mind made up that when it came down to taking care of the ball and rebounding, we were going to do the best we can to do those things.”
The focus set into Parker’s eyes during pregame at Wintrust Arena as “Public Service Announcement” by Jay-Z blared over the speakers. The moment the bass started bouncing, Parker’s energy changed from warm-up to game time, adding her own ad-libs.
“That is my favorite rapper, entrepreneur, business man, poet, everything,” Parker said laughing in the locker room. “I’m in awe of what he’s done. He’s so ahead of the game. There’s so many layers to what he does and his versatility. I try to bring that to my game.”
The Sky came out with energy, rhythm and speed in the opening quarter, starting the game on a 15-4 run. Connecticut didn’t let that last long as they pounded their way back into the game, getting as close as 4 points in the second quarter.
Parker took control shortly after that, knocking down a 3-pointer and drawing the contact, extending Chicago’s lead to 10 points in the second quarter and forcing Connecticut to take a timeout.
Right after the ball swished through the net, Jay-Z yet again blared over the speakers: “You see the face I made that night.” Cut to Parker staring down the sideline with a look of passion and ferocity in her eyes.
“She’s had so many different great games,” Emma Meesseman said after the game. “Even if she’s having less in stats, she’s still doing so many great things on the court, like being a great leader. I don’t think there’s enough words to describe what she’s been doing on the court. I’m happy to play with her in this series, because going against is not fun.”
Contrary to Game 1, this wasn’t a Parker-only performance. The Sky found a way to play their brand of basketball by setting the tone of the game early through transition and limiting any second or third chance shots for Connecticut.
Offensively, the Sky played Sky basketball in every essence of the word: backdoor cuts, consistent ball movement and playing in fast transition. They forced their way back inside the paint, putting up 42 points in the paint.
All five starters scored in double-digits while the bench did their due diligence crashing the boards and finding the open shooter. Parker finished with a game-high 22 points followed by Meesseman with 14 points and 7 rebounds.
“Emma was really good, very decisive and aggressive,” Wade said. “Emma’s aggressive is different than everyone else’s aggressive. Her aggressive is looking to make plays. I thought she took great shots, great passes and got the ball moving to where it was supposed to go.”
Quigley chipped in with 13 points followed by Kahleah Copper with 12 points and Courtney Vandersloot with 10 points and 8 assists.
Now, Chicago hits the road for Game 3 and 4 in Connecticut. Game 3 is slated for Sunday, Sept. 4 with a 12 p.m. tip time on ESPN2.