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Sun blow out Sky to force winner-take-all Game 5

Oct 10, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; A view of the offical game ball during the second half of game one of the 2021 WNBA Finals between the Phoenix Mercury and the Chicago Sky at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Connecticut Sun set a WNBA single-game record for paint points in a 104-80 rout of the Chicago Sky in Uncasville, Conn. that evened up the teams’ best-of-five semifinal series at 2-2.

Courtney Williams and DeWanna Bonner each scored 19 points for Connecticut, which collected a league-record 66 points in the paint. Alyssa Thomas added 17, while DiJonai Carrington, Brionna Jones and Odyssey Sims came off the bench to chip in 12, 11 and 10 points, respectively.

The Sun canned a season-best 56.9 percent of their field goal attempts and dominated the glass 39-23 in forcing a decisive fifth game on Thursday night in Chicago. They reached the 100-point mark with 2:04 left on a three-point play by rookie Nia Clouden.

Kahleah Copper scored 16 points to lead six Sky players in double figures. Emma Meesseman added 14, while Candace Parker managed 11 points and nine rebounds but also had five of the team’s 15 turnovers.

Allie Quigley, Courtney Vandersloot and reserve Dana Evans each had 10 points. Chicago shot a respectable 47.6 percent from the field.

Connecticut turned Chicago’s greatest weapons against it early, getting the fast start that the Sky usually do and winning at their pace. The Sun rattled off 10 straight points for a 12-2 lead less than three minutes into the game on Natisha Hiedeman’s layup.

The margin grew to 22-6 before the Sky’s one decent spurt, which Quigley closed with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer that pulled them within 30-22 going to the second quarter.

Chicago drew within 38-33 on Meesseman’s jumper, but Connecticut ripped off a 10-2 run to take command for good. Carrington finished the half by stealing the ball from Parker and hitting a driving layup as time expired for a 58-41 lead at the break.

Any chance the Sky might have had of rallying ended as the third quarter finished. Bonner stroked a 3-pointer and Sims stole a lazy inbounds pass from Parker, converting as time expired to make it 83-61.

–Field Level Media