Thanks to the wine performance from Courtney Vandersloot, Sky got a decisive victory over Liberty

Thanks to the wine performance from Courtney Vandersloot, Sky got a decisive victory over Liberty


Late in the fourth quarter on Friday night, the Chicago Sky clung to a two-point lead over the New York Liberty. And Candace Parker was out due to a non-Covid-19 illness and they needed someone else to handle. Courtney Vandersloot did the same.

With the shot clock winding down on a layup, Vandersloot high-fived Marin Johannes and launched an off-dribble 3-pointer in her face. After scrambling around every inch of the rim, the ball finally landed in the net, giving the Sky a five-point lead with 1:27 to play. Liberty was no closer as the skies rose for the decisive 89-81 victory.

Vandersloot went 6-for-10 from the field and finished with 23 points, six rebounds, nine assists and three free throws. She did all that without committing a single turnover in 31 minutes. This was the sixth time in WNBA history that a player had at least 20 points, six rebounds and nine assists without a turnover; Vandersloot has two of these shows. Across the timeline.

After missing the previous four regular season games with a concussion, Sky returned to action on Tuesday at the Commissioner’s Cup Championship, but she was not her usual self. Her wine performance made it clear on Friday, however, that she is back to 100 percent.

Vandersloot’s return to form came at a good time for the Sky. The Las Vegas Aces and Connecticut Suns will need to win everything they can to catch them throughout the WNBA playoffs. Both teams are 6-1 after the All-Star break, putting a lot of pressure on the Sky to follow through. Friday night’s match could have been difficult, especially without their best player, but they got the job done against Vandersloot.

The Sky are 22-7 on the season and hold a one game lead over the Aces and a 1.5 game lead over the Suns. They are closing in on the franchise record of 24 wins set in 2014. With only seven games left, Sky has to make history; It remains to be seen whether they will claim the top seed.

As far as freedom goes, this was a serious defeat. Parker’s absence gave them a golden opportunity to claim their second straight win in the Sky and clinch the much-needed victory. Instead, they slumped in the short term and have now lost eight of their last 10 games, falling to 11th place in the table.

They are now two games out of the eighth and final playoff spot and time is running out. Their only saving grace is that their remaining eight games are against other playoff hopefuls. If they can warm down slowly, they still have a chance to sneak into the postseason.



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