Balanced scoring and tough defense down the stretch Sunday enabled the Chicago Sky to stop the Connecticut Sun 76–72 in Game 3 of the teams’ WNBA semifinal series in Uncasville, Connecticut, giving Chicago a 2–1 lead in the best-of-five series.
Four players scored in double figures for the Sky, led by Candace Parker, who continued her splendid postseason with 16 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots. Her two foul shots with 15.2 seconds left gave Chicago a 74–70 advantage.
Kahleah Copper added 15 points, while Emma Meesseman contributed 13 points, six assists, and five steals. Courtney Vandersloot chipped in 12 points for Chicago, which has a chance to clinch the series in Game 4 on Tuesday night, also in Uncasville.
DeWanna Bonner scored a game-high 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Connecticut, while Natisha Hiedeman added 14 points. Courtney Williams and reserve Brionna Jones were good for 12 points apiece.
Jonquel Jones managed just six points on 3 of 10 shooting for the Sun, who endured a scoring drought of more than 4.5 minutes in the fourth quarter. They committed 17 turnovers and forced just nine, negating a 46–35 rebounding advantage.
After speaking of getting a quicker start than it has in most of its season series with Chicago, Connecticut managed to grab a 21–18 lead after one quarter. Bonner secured it in dramatic fashion by canning a 35–footer just before time expired.
Another Bonner bucket, this one from the baseline, gave the Sun a 38–32 lead with 1:41 left in the first half. But the Sky responded with consecutive 3-pointers from Parker and Meesseman, then two foul shots by Copper with 2.6 seconds left to take a 40–38 edge into intermission.
Chicago upped the advantage to seven in the third quarter before Connecticut used a 9–2 run to even the game at 51. The Sky rattled off five in a row before Bonner made 4 of 5 foul shots to pull the Sun within 56-55 after three.