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Chicago stuns Connecticut to reach WNBA Finals

MAJOR
UPSET Chicago
Sky’s Courtney Vandersloot (22)
and Connecticut Sun’s Jasmine Thomas (5)
reach for the ball during the fifirst half of Game
4 of a WNBA basketball playoffff series Wednesday
(Thursday in Manila) in Chicago. AP PHOTO

CHICAGO: Courtney Vandersloot scored 19 points and Kahleah Copper added 18 to help the Chicago Sky beat the top-seeded Connecticut Sun 79-69 and advance to the WNBA Finals on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila).

Chicago is back in the finals for the first time since 2014 despite finishing the regular season with a.500 record.

Candace Parker, who returned home to Chicago this season, finished with 17 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

“It means so much. Looking up into the stands and seeing familiar faces,” Parker said of getting to the Finals with her hometown team. “I grew up playing in front of these people. It really is emotional. It’s not done yet. Sometimes you have to stop and think and appreciate this moment.”

The Sky, who held a seven-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, opened the period with an 8-2 run to put the game away.

Astou Ndour-Fall hit a layup under the basket with 4:41 remaining, pushing Chicago’s lead to 13 points. Parker then got the home crowd roaring after nailing a seven-footer, making the Sky’s victory all but official.

Jonquel Jones led the way for the Sun with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Natisha Hiedeman added 16 points off the bench, hitting five 3-pointers.

It was the first time that the No. 1 seed hasn’t reached the finals since the WNBA changed its playoff format in 2016.

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