Candace Parker might be 36 years old, but through five games of the WNBA playoffs, no one in the league is playing better basketball.
The Chicago Sky star tries give her team a 2-1 lead when they travel to Uncasville, Conn., on Sunday for Game 3 of their best-of-five semifinal series against the Connecticut Sun.
Parker scored 22 points Wednesday night when Chicago dropped Connecticut 85-77 in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated. The Sun led by 20 at various times in the second half, getting the series even after a 68-63 setback last Sunday in the series opener.
Parker nearly carried Chicago to victory in the opener with 19 points, 18 rebounds, six blocked shots and five assists. That marked the first time in WNBA history a player amassed at least 15 points, 15 boards, five blocks and five assists in the same game.
“It just talks about the mentality you have in the game, the mental strength,” Parker said. “I know you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but we can better our tricks a little bit. I think the game slows down. I think it’s working on the things you’re really good at and playing more that mental game.”
The difference in Game 2 was that Parker got help. All five Sky starters finished in double figures, with Emma Meesseman tallying 14 points and Allie Quigley netting 13.
Meanwhile, Connecticut tries to correct a season-long problem in its matchups with Chicago. The Sky led 24-14 after one quarter Wednesday night. The Sun also trailed 32-16 after one quarter on June 29 and 31-14 on Aug. 7.
“We’ll get down 15, 20 points pretty much every game and them going on a ridiculous run,” said Connecticut forward Alyssa Thomas. “Definitely the first quarter is our emphasis.”
The Sun got 23 points from Jonquel Jones on Wednesday night but allowed Chicago to hit 61.3 percent of its shots during the first half.
Game 4 of the series is Tuesday night, also at Uncasville.
–Field Level Media