Sunday, July 3, 2022

Chicago Sky erase 28-point deficit to pull off largest comeback in WNBA history

The Chicago Sky never gave up on Tuesday night. Its 104-95 road victory against the Las Vegas Aces was as improbable as a win can be. The team clawed back from a massive 28-point deficit to get the victory, which is now the largest comeback in WNBA history.

“We just wanted to win and we wanted to play to our potential,” Sky head coach James Wade said. “No statements, we just focus on us.”

Chicago is the defending champion, but the Aces have been the team to beat this season. The Aces certainly played like it on Tuesday, taking control early in the game by shooting 63% from the field and picking up 41 points in the first 10 minutes — a franchise record for points in a quarter.

That performance included a 23-0 run that gave the Aces a 25-4 advantage with under four minutes remaining in the first period. 

They kept that momentum going, and as the clock read 7:25 in the second quarter, a layup by forward Dearica Hamby gave Las Vegas an enormous 51-23 lead. It looked like the game was over, but the Sky remained calm. Slowly but surely, Chicago began chipping away.

With two seconds left before halftime, the Sky cut the deficit to 51-62 with a pull-up jump shot by point guard Courtney Vandersloot. Chicago won that quarter ,33-21. The comeback effort was even stronger after the break.

The Sky saw a 18-0 run in the third quarter to take a 67-66 lead. They went on to win that frame with a 30-11 point advantage. 

As a whole, Chicago wrapped up the night shooting at 57.3% from the field and with five players scoring in double digits. Vandersloot saw a season-high 25 points by going 10-of-14 from the field, including three shots from beyond the arc. Azura Stevens had 19 points from the bench on 8-of-10 shooting. Candace Parker and Emma Meesseman contributed with 17 points each, while Allie Quigley added 13 more. 

Wade saw the scoreboard early in the game just like everybody else did, but the coach said the large deficit didn’t make him doubt his team.

“We were fine, we just have to keep pushing, stay aggressive,” Wade said. “We don’t feel like we are out of any game. We just felt like, if we do what we are supposed to do, we’ll give ourselves a really good shot no matter what the first quarter says or what the announcer announces.” 

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