Sun rally in 4th, beat Sky 72-63 to advance to WNBA Finals

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Sky's Candace Parker (3) and Kahleah Copper, left, block out Connecticut Sun's Jonquel Jones during the first half of Game 5 in a WNBA basketball playoffs semifinal Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, in Chicago.

    Chicago Sky's Candace Parker (3) and Kahleah Copper, left, block out Connecticut Sun's Jonquel Jones during the first half of Game 5 in a WNBA basketball playoffs semifinal Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, in Chicago. Associated Press

  • Connecticut Sun's DeWanna Bonner begins to celebrate the team's 72-63 win over the Chicago Sky in Game 5 of a WNBA basketball playoffs semifinal Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, in Chicago.

    Connecticut Sun's DeWanna Bonner begins to celebrate the team's 72-63 win over the Chicago Sky in Game 5 of a WNBA basketball playoffs semifinal Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, in Chicago. Associated Press

  • Connecticut Sun's Courtney Williams passes behind her back as Chicago Sky's Emma Meesseman defends during the first half of Game 5 in a WNBA basketball playoffs semifinal Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, in Chicago.

    Connecticut Sun's Courtney Williams passes behind her back as Chicago Sky's Emma Meesseman defends during the first half of Game 5 in a WNBA basketball playoffs semifinal Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, in Chicago. Associated Press

  • Connecticut Sun's Alyssa Thomas (25) shoots as Chicago Sky's Courtney Vandersloot (22) and Candace Parker defend during the first half of Game 5 in a WNBA basketball playoffs semifinal Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, in Chicago.

    Connecticut Sun's Alyssa Thomas (25) shoots as Chicago Sky's Courtney Vandersloot (22) and Candace Parker defend during the first half of Game 5 in a WNBA basketball playoffs semifinal Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, in Chicago. Associated Press

  • Connecticut Sun's Jonquel Jones (35) pressures Chicago Sky's Courtney Vandersloot during the first half of Game 5 in a WNBA basketball playoff semifinal Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, in Chicago.

    Connecticut Sun's Jonquel Jones (35) pressures Chicago Sky's Courtney Vandersloot during the first half of Game 5 in a WNBA basketball playoff semifinal Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, in Chicago. Associated Press

  • Connecticut Sun's Jonquel Jones (35) and Natisha Hiedeman (2) pressure Chicago Sky's Courtney Vandersloot during the first half of Game 5 in a WNBA basketball playoffs semifinal Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, in Chicago.

    Connecticut Sun's Jonquel Jones (35) and Natisha Hiedeman (2) pressure Chicago Sky's Courtney Vandersloot during the first half of Game 5 in a WNBA basketball playoffs semifinal Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, in Chicago. Associated Press

 
By GAVIN GOOD
Associated Press
Updated 9/8/2022 10:01 PM

Jonquel Jones had 15 points and 10 rebounds and the Connecticut Sun overcame an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter, beating the Chicago Sky 72-63 Thursday night in the decisive fifth game of the semifinal series and advancing to the WNBA Finals.

The Sky were attempting to become the first team to repeat as WNBA champions since the Los Angeles Sparks in 2001-02.

 

Connecticut scored the final 18 points of the game at Wintrust Arena to overcome a 63-54 deficit with 4:46 remaining.

All the Sun starters scored in double figures and Connecticut advanced to the Finals for the third time overall and first time since 2019.

Connecticut will face the top-seeded Las Vegas Aces for the WNBA title. The first game of the series is Sunday in Las Vegas.

"To be honest, going to enjoy this moment right now," Jones said. "Hats off to the Aces. We'll see them in the championship. I'm just enjoying this moment right here."

Trailing 63-54, Connecticut took over. DeWanna Bonner was fouled after making a layup by Kahleah Copper with 3:46 left. The two players exchanged words and that seemed to energize the Sun.

Jones scored inside to put the Sun ahead with two minutes left, hitting an ensuing free throw for a 3-point lead.

A pullup jumper by Courtney Williams with 47.5 seconds remaining gave the Sun a 5-point cushion, and Bonner knocked down 4 free throws to put the game out of reach.

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Connecticut outscored the Sky 25-5 in the fourth quarter, recovering from a disastrous third period in which it scored 8 points and turned the ball over 7 times.

"We were on the ropes and it took that type of defensive quarter to advance to the finals," Sun coach Curt Miller said.

Copper led the Sky with 22 points on 8-for-19 shooting, including 3 of 5 from long distance, and added 4 steals.

DeWanna Bonner chipped in with 15 points, Hiedeman added 14 and Williams and Alyssa Thomas each added 12 for Connecticut.

Emma Meesseman, who finished with 14 points on 6-for-14 shooting and 6 rebounds, gave the Sky an 11-point lead with 7:20 to play.

In the opening half, the Sun continued the torrid shooting they had in Game 4, when the made 56.9% of their shots. But that slowed in the third quarter, as the Sky defense tightened.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Candace Parker buried a 3-pointer and Copper followed with a 3-point play to give the Sky a 10-point lead entering the fourth.

But Chicago's shooting went cold, and the Sky missed their last 8 shots.

Parker finished with 7 points and 9 rebounds.

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