The Chicago Sky’s bid to win back-to-back championships for the first time since the Los Angeles Sparks did it in 2001 and 2002 fell short in Game 5 on Thursday, dropping 72-63 to the Connecticut Sun.
In the year For Candace Parker, who said she was open to retiring early in the 2022 campaign, the loss put some things into perspective. Although Parker will tell you she doesn’t feel as dominant as she once was, the two-time MVP enjoyed a postseason run and was praised by her teammates and head coach for her leadership and “urgency” to win back. Back to back champions
Parker posted five double-doubles during the playoffs, including four straight in a 1-3 game against New York and in Game 1 against Connecticut. Her 27 strikeouts tie Tamika Catchings for most in playoff history. She became the all-time leading scorer in WNBA playoff history in Game 4 of the semifinals.
Parker averaged 15.9 rebounds, 11.0 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.1 steals and 2.4 blocks per game on 44.9 percent shooting from the field in her final playoff run.
Despite her personal success, Parker says she’s reconsidering whether to walk away from basketball. She has repeatedly said she will take her time to weigh her options and has no intention of “cheating the game”.
“I’m going to go back and reassess whether I can continue to play at the level I’m at,” Parker said. “And I think that’s the biggest thing. I don’t want to cheat the game. I don’t cheat the game.
“So if I can’t go out and play and be the Candace that I want to be, I’m not going to play,” Parker said. “And I think that will come in the spring.”
“I don’t cheat the game.”
— WNBA (@WNBA) September 9, 2022
In Game 5, Parker posted seven points, nine rebounds, three assists, three steals and four blocks.
A three-pointer and Kahli Copper’s three-point play gave Chicago a 10-point lead going into the fourth quarter, but Chicago went cold and missed its final eight shots of the night. A back-and-forth between Copper and Dewana Bonner led the Suns to a decisive 18-0 run to win Game 5 and advance to the WNBA Finals on Sunday against the Las Vegas Aces.
“It wasn’t really intentional, but we probably stopped attacking,” Courtney Vandersloot said. “(Maybe) we were more afraid of losing than trying to win. But I feel like we had a good look; we just didn’t knock them off.”