The Sky Took Game 3 moves away one game from the WNBA Finals

After the Sun stole Game 1 from Chicago and the Sky responded with a big offensive performance in Game 2, the WNBA playoff semifinals moved to Connecticut for a pivotal Game 3 on Sunday after- midday.

Like Game 1, it was a physical and defensive struggle, as neither team could break through 40% of the field in the game, and after a quarter of play, it was the Sun who had taken a narrow 21 lead. -18 thanks to a cash-in. DeWanna Bonner three at the buzzer.

Bonner finished the game with 18 points to lead the Sun in scoring and 11 rebounds, but most of that damage came at the free throw line where she was 8 of 9 when she was just 4 down. on 14 of the field. Early on, Connecticut’s only reliable offensive source was Natisha Hiedeman, who had 12 of her 14 points in the game through the first two quarters, connecting on a pair of triples to provide much-needed lift for the Sun.

On the other side, it was the same story as the first two games, where Candace Parker carried the charge offensively for the Sky, also scoring 12 points in the first half as Chicago rallied in the second quarter to take a lead two points in the half.

Assisting Parker in this one was Kahleah Copper, who finished the game with 15 points, powering Sky’s transition offense as they forced 17 Sun turnovers which proved key to opening up some offense as their Half-court sets struggled to find the rhythm.

With Copper, the Sky got a big contribution from Emma Meeseman, who had 12 points, six assists and five steals, providing plenty of activity at both ends of the field.

The third quarter was mostly a washout, with both offenses still stuck in the mud and the Sun able to whittle away Sky’s advantage to make it a one-point game heading into the fourth. Three quick points in the first minute of Brionna Jones’ fourth gave Connecticut its first lead since the second quarter, and from there the two teams remained locked in a one-possession battle for most of the quarter.

A Kahleah Copper three gave the Sky a 66-64 lead with 6:14 to go, and the score would not change for nearly four minutes of action as neither team could buy a bucket.

A Meeseman midranger would break that spell and give Chicago a four-point advantage that they would never fully relinquish, with the eventual dagger coming in the form of a Meeseman layup on a magnificent flow from Courtney Vandersloot, one of his five assists on the night to go with 12 points.

In the end, the Sky would pull out a 76-72 victory to knock them out of a game in the WNBA Finals. Parker finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, two steals and three blocks on the game, once again filling the stat sheet. On the other side, Brionna Jones and Courtney Williams each had 12 points to give Bonner and Hiedeman some momentum, but as a team they are going through too many cold spells, which led to a moment of unprecedented mic. when coach Curt Miller begged them to make lay-ups saying he was going to get fired because of it.

Neither team shot well in this one, but the Sun’s combination of missed layups and 17 turnovers (just 8 from Chicago) made the difference by negating their rebounding advantage. Miller tried to turn things around late to no avail, leaving Jonquel Jones on the bench as she struggled for Brionna Jones, but the Sun still couldn’t find enough offense on the stretch. They’ll have to figure that out if they’re to force the series back to Chicago for a Game 5, or the Sky will clinch their ticket to a second straight final on Tuesday night.

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