Well. Cue up Nat King Cole’s “The Party’s Over.”
“The party is over. It is time to call it a day. They burst your pretty balloon”…
Candace Parker led the way with 29 points as her Los Angeles Sparks ended her hometown Chicago Sky’s playoff run with a 95-75 win to advance to the WNBA Finals.
The Sky was outscored 23-11 in the first quarter and were down 55-31 at halftime. They were still without MVP Elena Delle Donne who missed her 10th consecutive game after undergoing thumb surgery on Sept. 13th. The Sky cut it to eight early in the fourth quarter before Parker pulled the plug by scoring the next eight points on a 3-pointer plus five free throws.
“I’m extremely proud of them, but I’m not surprised,” Sky coach Pokey Chatman said of how her team played without Delle Donne. “We sped up the pace a little bit.”
The Sparks won six of their seven games against Chicago this season and scored at least 93 points in five of those victories.
The party is over for Chicago however the beat goes on for the Sparks, and Parker is bringing the cake with her name on it.
Parker is finally in the WNBA Finals. Her first trip comes on a roller-coaster year. She was left off the Olympic team despite being a two-time gold medalist and mourned the passing of her college coach, Tennessee’s Pat Summitt. Now she has the opportunity to cap off her résumé with her first title. Parker missed the finals her rookie year in 2008 when the Sparks lost in the Western Conference Finals.
The Sparks will face the defending champion Minnesota Lynx in a best-of-five series for the league title. The top-seeded Lynx swept Phoenix in the other semifinal and will be going for their fourth title in six years. Los Angeles dropped two of three to Minnesota during the regular season.