Sun rally in 4th place to beat Sky and advance to WNBA Finals

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 deciding fifth game of the semifinal series and advancing to the WNBA Finals.

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

All Sun starters scored in double digits and Connecticut advanced to the WNBA playoff finals for the third time overall and the first since 2019.

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

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

Chicago attempted to become the first team to repeat as WNBA champions since the Los Angeles Sparks in 2001-02.

Trailing 63-54, Connecticut took over. DeWanna Bonner got a foul 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 to give the Sun the lead with two minutes to go, then hit a free throw for a three-point lead.

A pull-up jumper from Courtney Williams with 47.5 seconds to go gave the sun a five-point cushion and Bonner hit four free throws to take the game out of reach.

‘We were on the ropes’

Connecticut defeated Chicago 25-5 in the fourth quarter, recovering from a disastrous third period in which it scored eight runs and spun the ball seven times.

“We were on the ropes and it took about 15 minutes to get through to the final,” said Sun coach Curt Miller.

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

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

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

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

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

But Chicago’s shooting went cold and the Sky missed their last eight shots.

Parker finished with seven points and nine rebounds.