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East heavyweights collide as Sky visit Sun

Sportsnaut
Sep 29, 2020; Bradenton, Florida, USA; Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas (25) looks to pass during game 5 of the WNBA semifinals between the Connecticut Suns and the Las Vegas Aces at IMG Academy. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

A clash between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference highlights the Sunday schedule as the Connecticut Sun host the reigning WNBA champion Chicago Sky.

Both teams have locked up playoff spots. The Sun come in riding a four-game winning streak, which includes an 88-83 win over Seattle on Thursday. Connecticut (20-9) is 6-1 since the All-Star Break.

Chicago (22-7) has won seven of its last eight games and is facing a quick turnaround after beating New York 89-81 at home on Friday night.

The Sky are likely to still be without two-time MVP Candace Parker, who was given no timetable for her return by head coach James Wade after sitting out against the Liberty with a non-COVID illness.

But Chicago has proved it can win when facing adversity.

“We know how to play from behind,” Courtney Vandersloot told the Chicago Sun Times. “We have confidence in ourselves and what we have to offer night in and night out. We get everybody’s best shot.”

Vandersloot scored 23 points against the Liberty and also dished out nine assists.

Alyssa Thomas shined for the Sun in their hard-fought victory against the Storm, scoring 19 points, grabbing five rebounds and handing out 11 assists.

The Sun are focused on redemption after a record-breaking season in 2021 ended without a championship. They were knocked out of the postseason by the Sky.

“There are lessons learned in every situation,” Sun head coach Curt Miller told SLAM Magazine earlier this week. “But that fine line just serves as a reminder that all the little things matter in a game that make or break a loss, and you have to show up in the smaller moments just as you do in the biggest moments.”

This is the third of four meetings this season. The Sky won 83-79 at Connecticut on June 10 and 91-83 at home on June 29. They will meet again on Aug. 7 in Chicago.

–Field Level Media