Chicago Sky stages biggest comeback in WNBA history to beat Las Vegas Aces

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Defending champion Chicago Sky overcame the biggest deficit in WNBA history — 28 points — to win on Tuesday, and did so against the league’s first-place team. Their 104-95 victory at the Las Vegas Aces was one for the record books in more ways than one.

“It’s not something I want to do again,” Chicago guard Allie Quigley joked of a 28-point comeback, surpassing the previous mark of 25, which had been made three times. “But it was a bit strangely quiet. They’re such a quick team and so were we, there was no time to worry about the next game or even the score. It was just, ‘OK, keep going. just to nibble, nibble.’

“Obviously looking back it’s amazing to be able to come back from this much and show what we are capable of and what we can do when we really think about it and play the style of game that we want to play.”

This includes sharing the ball; the Sky had 34 assists, which is tied for third most in WNBA history. The Sky were led by 25 points and eight assists from point guard Courtney Vandersloot, while Quigley had 13 points and seven assists. Candace Parker had a double-double (17 points and 10 rebounds) and reserve Azurá Stevens had a season-high 19 points.

Chicago was coming off a frustrating 89-87 loss at the Indiana Fever on Sunday in which the Sky missed five shots in the final 30 seconds to drop their record to 10-5. Meanwhile, the Aces came into play Tuesday at 13-2 and won four in a row. In a clash of the teams that will meet in July’s Commissioners Cup championship game, Las Vegas dominated early.

The Aces scored a WNBA record 41 points in the first quarter, after which they led by 23. The lead grew to 28 – 51-23 – in the second quarter. Las Vegas went 23-0, the most of any WNBA team this season and the most in league history against a defending champion.

The Sky offense started to make itself heard in the second quarter, however, as the Aces led 62-51 at the break. Five Las Vegas players scored in double figures in the first half, which is also a WNBA record. The teams’ combined 37 assists in the first half was a WNBA record for a half, and the combined 17 3-pointers tied a league record for a half.

But Chicago then beat Las Vegas 53-33 in the second half. Both teams combined had nine players who finished with at least 15 points, which also ties a WNBA record.

“No matter what happens in a game, we think we have a chance to win,” said Vandersloot, who has led the WNBA in assists for the past five seasons and is still at the top of that category this season. year. “We lost a tough game at Indiana two days ago, so it was a big game for us.”

Coach James Wade, who led the Sky to the franchise’s first WNBA title last year, said his team’s experience helped on Tuesday.

“Having people who have gone through wars to win championships says a lot,” Wade said. “It’s not easy to win in this league. You know people next to you have done it, so you trust them.”

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