Parker and Sky win sixth straight, rout Liberty 92-72
NEW YORK (AP) — Candace Parker had 23 points, 12 rebounds and six assists to lead the Chicago Sky to a 92-72 win over the New York Liberty on Tuesday night.
It was the sixth consecutive win for the Sky (8-7), matching the franchise record set in 2012 and equaled in 2013.
The Sky improved to 7-0 with Parker in the lineup this season. She missed seven games with an ankle injury before returning and steadying a struggling Chicago offense.
“It says a lot about night in and night out there will be different people who step up,” Parker said. “On the really special teams I’ve been on, you don’t know (who it will be).”
Chicago led 25-20 in the second quarter before Parker sparked a 23-12 burst to close the half. She had nine points, six rebounds and three assists during the game-changing spurt. The former MVP, who is playing her first season in her hometown of Chicago, finished the half with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
The Sky opened the third quarter with a 7-2 run and never looked back.
Betnijah Laney scored 18 points to lead New York (7-7), which returned home after splitting four games on a West Coast swing. Sabrina Ionescu added six points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
The teams will meet again on Thursday.
Natasha Howard, who has been sidelined with a knee injury, warmed up with the team before the game. Coach Walt Hopkins said that Howard was probably going to be back in the next few weeks, before the Olympic break. ... Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash was at the game, sitting courtside in the popular orange WNBA hooded sweatshirt. Sitting a few seats down from him was WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert.
New York missed its first 13 3-point attempts before Kylee Shook hit one with 3:23 left in the half. The Liberty average nearly 11 3-pointers made per game, but made only 6 of 28 against Chicago.
“If you look at us statistically, I think we’re the best 3-point shooting team in the league. It’s hard for me to believe we just all missed shots; 0 for 13 is an anomaly to me. (Part of it) might be the tired legs,” Liberty guard Sami Whitcomb said.
Chicago had a difficult travel day on Monday to get to New York. It took nearly 13 hours to get to their hotel after delays at the airport prevented them from leaving the Windy City on time.
“Speaks to the resiliency. A little adversity never hurt nobody,” said Diamond DeShields, who had 11 points. “We had to have an extra level of focus to overcome that fatigue of getting in at 2-3 a.m.”
The Sky did run into the Chicago Red Stars at the airport while they were waiting to get to New York.
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