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Game 1 of the Sky-Sun semifinal series saw Connecticut come into Chicago and dictate the pace and feel of the game, grinding things to a halt in a physical game where they overcame a monster Candace Parker performance to pull out a gritty win.

In Game 2, the home side seemed determined to not let that happen again, as they got their offense going, upped the tempo, and buried the Sun early under a barrage of buckets, led by none other than Parker once again. The future Hall of Famer had 14 first half points, as she showed a bit of everything in the first two frames, from threes to fadeaways to blowbys off the dribble for layups.

It wasn’t just the offense that got it done for the Sky, they continued to play stellar team defense, which also allowed them to push the tempo like this steal that allowed Kahleah Copper to turn on the burners for a layup, splitting two Sun defenders at midcourt and running by them.

Still, the story of the game was Parker, who simply could not be stopped, inside or outside, no matter how much contact the Sun tried to give her.

Chicago took a commanding 47-32 lead into halftime and did not let up in the third, as Allie Quigley laced one of her three threes on the night, as this time the rest of the Sky’s starting lineup showed up to provide Parker with support, as all five reached double figures.

Going into the fourth, the Sky were in full control leading by 17, and yet another turnaround bucket over good defense from Parker early on seemed to put the dagger in Connecticut.

To their credit, the Sun kept battling and would cut things to single-digits late, but never really threatened the Sky’s dominance in the game, as Chicago eventually cruised to an 85-77 win to even things at 1-1.

Parker finished with 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting (3-of-4 from deep), while Emma Meeseman chipped in 14 points and 7 rebounds, Quigley had 13, Copper added 12, and Courtney Vandersloot had 10 points and eight assists. For the Sun, Jonquel Jones (23 points, 7 rebounds) and Natisha Hiedeman (14 points) were the only two players to reach double figures as they struggled as a team to produce much offensively until it was too late, shooting 45.7 percent from the field and just 8-of-16 from the free throw line.

Going into Game 3 at the Mohegan Sun, it’ll be interesting to see if Connecticut can get the pace of the game back where they prefer it, or if the Sky can keep speeding things up and making it a more up-and-down game that suits them much more.


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