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WNBA: Candace Parker, Chicago Sky advances to second round

The Chicago Sky sees a lead of 21 points to three, but ends strong for a 81-64 victory in the first round over the upcoming Dallas Wings Thursday night at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago.

In her first playoff game with the Sky, Candace Parker scored 11 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists and three steals. Courtney Vandersloot added 17 points, eight boards and six assists and made an individual 9-2 run against the Wings from 4:06 in the fourth to 34 seconds in the fourth, increasing Chicago’s lead from eight to 15. has. of a 13-2 run for the Sky as a team.

Kahleah Copper scored Chicago with 23 points and was 10-of-14 from the field. Parker and Vandersloot packed the state sheet, but Copper was the most exciting player to watch and the 23 scored a highlight in the playoffs. Allie Quigley scored 15 points, three assists and three tries.

Arike Ogunbowale bagged a 22-point defeat and was 5-out-10 from downtown. Isabelle Harrison added nine points and 10 rebounds for the Wings.

The Sky started the game with a 37-16 lead, but Dallas responded with a 9-0 run by seven points in a row from Ogunbowale, a dangerous scorer with the ability to rip out the hearts of teams. The Wings would hang until Allisha Gray cut it by three seconds in the fourth to three. However, Marina Mabrey missed a try to equalize 42 seconds later and Dallas never came close.

Rugby-to-back lineup of Copper and Parker pushed Chicago’s lead to seven, and although Ogunbowale later made tries to reduce it to four and six, the Wings superstar did not have the firepower to catch the Sky .

“I saw nobody panic,” said Sky head coach James Wade. ‘You saw us get together even more, and you saw more huddings on the floor. Made a few mistakes, but we were able to get out of the mistakes. “

There was a lot of nice assistance in the game for Chicago, which is emphasized by Vandersloot’s not-watching pass to a cutting Copper, who then gets a double grip on a lineup that makes the score 51-41 on the 5: 13 of the third.

Chicago wins points in the paint 48-22 and second chance points 13-2. It also outscored Dallas 47-35.

“Their first five have 15 rebounds and Candace also has 15 rebounds,” Wade said. ‘When these things happen, it helps you. It was a Candace Parker-type game. Play-off match. She has all the records when it comes to the playoffs. So we felt we would go in for her to play a big game. And we think the best is yet to come. ”

The Sky, which had a better winning percentage last year but dropped in the first round, goes into the second round against the Minnesota Lynx (ESPN2) on Sunday at 5 p.m. If they beat the Lynx, they will be guaranteed to play the No. 1-seeded Connecticut Sun in the semifinals, as it is the lowest remaining seed.

“The playoffs start when the road team wins a game,” Parker said. ‘Literally the playoffs start for us or end for us (in Minnesota). So I think that’s our mentality. We ventured so much with the water this year, and we didn’t really get it right. And I think we’re a team that does things when we have to. So hopefully we realize we have to. ”

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