Candace Parker has the 2021 WNBA Season on her resume to show to anyone not only what she accomplished but delivered to the city of Chicago.
Parker took her talents back home to play for the Chicago Sky. The Sky made the WNBA Playoffs with a 16-16 record and No. 6 seed.
The Sky defeated the Phoenix Mercury 80-74 in game 4 of the 2021 WNBA Finals to secure the franchise’s first-ever WNBA title.
In the 2021 WNBA Playoffs, the Sky won two single-elimination games, defeated the No. 1 seed Connecticut Sun in the Semifinals, and became the first No. 6 seed to win the WNBA Finals.
The game was played on a Sunday. The Sky drew a sell-out crowd despite the Chicago Bears hosting the rival Green Bay Packers just down the street at Soldier Field. Chance the Rapper was once again in attendance to support his hometown team.
No question on who day belong to in a historic sports city.
The game itself is one the Sky will never forget the Mercury let slip away.
The Mercury held their largest lead of 14 with 3:17 to play in the third quarter, 59-45.
Parker tied the game at 72 with 1:56 to play in the fourth quarter. Stefanie Dolson gave the Sky a 74-72 lead with 1:22 to play. The Sky were on a 9-0 run in the last 3:21 of the fourth quarter with 1:22 to play after Dolson made a shot in the paint that gave the Sky a 74-72 lead. They never looked back, raising the trophy as the confetti fell.
Brittney Griner could not be stopped by the Sky defenders finishing with 28 points, 12 of 19 from the field, 4 of 4 at the free-throw line, seven rebounds, and one steal. However, the Mercury did not get their leading scorer as involved as often down the stretch.
Diana Taurasi, the All-Time leading scorer in the playoffs and regular season history in the WNBA, was not consistent in one of the most crucial elimination games. She entered the game averaging 21.5 points per game when facing elimination. She finished 4 of 16 from the field for 16 points, 3 of 9 on three-point attempts, and three turnovers.
In-game three, the Sky won by a dominant 86-50 performance over the phoenix mercury, the largest margin of victory in finals history.
After losses, Phoenix had been 4-0 in the WNBA Finals until Sunday’s defeat. The players declined to meet with the media after the game.
The Sky down by as many as 14 points, Sky became the first team in WNBA Finals history to overcome a ten-point fourth quarter deficit. In the final frame, Chicago outscored Phoenix 26-11, leading to an impressive six-point victory.
Kahleah Copper entered game four, averaging 19.3 ppg, 54 percent shooting from the field, 6.7 rebounds per game, and 1.3 steals per game. She was awarded the 2021 WNBA Finals MVP Award, finishing Game 4 with 10 points and two rebounds.
Chicago native Allie Quigley is one of the greatest shooters in the WNBA and did not take the night off in game four. She was vital in the team’s fourth-quarter comeback and finished with 26 points leading the Sky while converting 50% of her shots from beyond the arc.
Quigley’s wife, Courtney Vandersloot, had one of the most historic WNBA playoffs; she had the second WNBA triple-double all-time in playoff history. Moreover became the first WNBA player ever with at least 20 points scored, at least ten assists, and at least five steals in a WNBAPlayoffs game and the first with a 20-point, 14-assist, and 5-rebound performance in any WNBA game. She finished a rebound short of a triple-double in game four.
Parker finished with four steals against the Mercury on Sunday afternoon and became the third player in WNBA Finals history with at least 30 career steals. She joins Maya Moore and Tamika Catchings in this exclusive club.
Chicago coach James Wade became the third Black male coach to win a WNBA championship, joining Michael Cooper, who did it with the Los Angeles Sparks, and Corey Gaines, who did it with Phoenix.
The Los Angeles Sparks in 2001 and 2002 are the last WNBA Champions to repeat. A goal the Sky will set for themselves now.
What an impressive resume for the entire Sky team. No question about it, champions for life.