Chicago Sky's Stefanie Dolson (31) goes up for a shot in the final seconds against Phoenix Mercury's Brittney Griner (42), Sophie Cunningham (9) and Brianna Turner (21) in Game 4 of the WNBA Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Chicago. Chicago won 80-74 to become the WNBA Champions. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

Chicago Sky Wins First WNBA Championship

Last night, the Chicago Sky defeated Phoenix Mercury to claim their first WNBA title. This win came out of left field as the Sky were .500 in the regular season. Chicago won the finals 3-1 with a final score of 80-74 in the thriller for Game 4.

Candace Parker was a huge leader in the championships game after joining the team only eight months ago. Parker left the Los Angeles Sparks, where she played for 13 years after being drafted in 2008 as the 1st overall pick. Many believe that Parker left the Sparks due to her rocky relationship with the head coach ( and now general manager) Derek Fisher.  Parker headed back to the Windy City, her hometown, in hopes of winning a championship, and that she did.

In a postgame interview, Parker highlighted what she loved about the team and how she is thankful to play a team sport where it is not just about herself.

Before the finals began, Parker spoke out about the team’s goals. “Our big focus this post-season has been about us, our defense, our rebounding and our ability to share the ball. I think if we do that, it’ll still be hard but I like our chances,” said Parker.

The Final Showdown

Chicago guard Courtney Vandersloot nail two free throws to pull ahead of Mercury late in the game. Following this, Phoenix center Brittney Griner missed a jump shot on the opposite side of the court, and the game was over. The Chicago Sky has finally won the franchise’s first-ever championship.

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Parker finished her performance for the team with 16 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals.

Going into the fourth quarter, the Mercury were trailing behind 63-54. The Sky pulled through to outscore them 26-11 in the final quarter. Parker tied the game with a three-point shot in the fourth quarter to give Chicago the momentum they needed to pull ahead.

Looking at the Team’s Leaders

Courtney Vandersloot, the Sky’s point guard, also had a great game, putting up 10 points, 15 assists and 9 rebounds. Vandersloot has led the league in assists for five straight years. Vandersloot’s wife, Allie Quigly scored 26 points in the final game. Quigley averaged 14 points per game before Sunday, when she showed out for the team. Kahleah Copper was named the most valuable player in the finals and averaged 17.7 points per game in the playoffs.

Copper explained the importance of working hard and never losing hope in a post-game press conference. The Sky definitely never gave up, even with a shaky season.

Excitement was not lacking after the big win. Parker was very proud of the team and the work they put in. The Chicago Sky can now call themselves champions.

 

 

 

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