CHICAGO — The Chicago Sky fought through some tense moments in the third quarter and then dominated the fourth, defeating the Connecticut Sun, 79-69, on Wednesday to advance to the WNBA Finals for the second time in franchise history.
The Sky, in their third season under coach/general manager James Wade, will make their first trip to the championship round since 2014, when Pokey Chatman's squad was swept by the Phoenix Mercury.
The Sky will face the winner of the other semifinal series between the Mercury and Las Vegas Aces. The Mercury led 2-1 entering Game 4 late Wednesday. Game 1 of the WNBA Finals is Sunday.
The Sky never trailed Wednesday and led by as many 18 points, with Candace Parker hitting a 3 in third quarter to put the Sky up 65-47.
But the Sun tightened the vice later in the third. The Sky committed six turnovers and missed five shots in the final 4½ minutes of the quarter. The Sun drew within 65-58 entering the fourth.
But Azura Stevens — who Sun coach Curt Miller called "the X factor" in the series — hit a 3 pointer off Parker's kneeling pass to push the lead up to 10. Stevens finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.
While Stevens indeed was the X-factor in Game 3, Parker was the difference in the clincher. She had 17 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and a pair of blocks and steals.
Her 7-footer from the baseline to put the Sky up 77-62 was the dagger, prompting Miller to call timeout and Chance the Rapper to give high-fives from his courtside seats.
The Sun tried to take away Courtney Vandersloot's role as a distributor, but she responded with a team-high 19 points, including five 3-pointers. Kahleah Copper added 18 points for the Sky.
The Sun's Jonquel Jones led all players with 25 points, and Natisha Hiedeman scored 16 off the bench.
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