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Sky, Sun meet looking upward toward playoffs

May 13, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Chicago Sky guard Kahleah Copper (2) drives to the net against Minnesota Lynx forward Bridget Carleton (6) during the first half at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Sky clinched the WNBA’s final playoff spot Friday to earn a crack at the top-seeded Las Vegas Aces when the postseason starts next week.

First comes one more regular-season game for Chicago, which will attempt to avenge three previous regular-season losses to the host Connecticut Sun on Sunday when the teams play at Uncasville, Conn.

The Sky kept the regular-season finale from being critical by earning a 92-87 victory over the Minnesota Lynx on Friday while clinching their playoff spot. They had a 25-1 advantage in bench points and received 20 points and five assists from leading scorer Kahleah Copper, as well as a 13-point, 11-assist double-double from Courtney Williams.

“You’ve got to win,” Sky guard Dana Evans said. “We talk about margin of error. We don’t have time for that. We needed to get the win and that’s what we did.”

Chicago (17-22) got it done offensively, shooting 46.7 percent (35 of 75) from the field and 50 percent (11 of 22) from the 3-point line. Copper and Marina Mabrey, who finished with 19 points, combined to make 9 of 15 3-pointers.

Connecticut (27-12) cruised to a 76-59 home win Friday night against the Indiana Fever as Tiffany Hayes scored 12 of her team-high 14 points in the third quarter. Alyssa Thomas added 10 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists in the game.

DeWanna Bonner, Natisha Hiedeman and DiJonai Carrington also chipped in 10 points for the Sun, which used all nine of their available players for at least 11 minutes.

“We got contributions from everywhere and that’s what it’s gonna take for sure to be successful in the postseason,” Connecticut coach Stephanie White said.

The Sun are locked into the No. 3 seed for the postseason, a solid achievement in White’s first year on the bench. Connecticut has played most of the year without Brionna Jones, who had a season-ending Achilles’ tear on June 25 in Seattle, but the team still set a franchise record for most wins in a year.

–Field Level Media