Conclusions of game 4 of Sky vs. Sun: Connecticut keeps season alive with historic offensive performance

The Connecticut Sun isn’t done yet. Facing elimination on their home court Tuesday night, the Sun put on a dominant performance to outlast the Chicago Sky and win 104-80 in Game 4. With the series now tied at 2-2, the action will resume. Chicago. for a winner-takes-all Game 5 on Thursday night.

With his back against the wall, the Sun came out with as much energy and enthusiasm as everyone expected. They were flying on both sides of the ball and needed just two minutes and 39 seconds to build a double-digit lead. Although Sky held out for a while, they never seriously threatened to take the lead, and Sun pulled away for good late in the third quarter.

After struggling with their offense for much of this series, the Sun were unstoppable in this one. They set a new WNBA playoff record for points in the paint with 66, and new playoff franchise records by scoring 104 points and shooting 56.9 percent from the field.

DeWanna Bonner had 19 points, six rebounds, four assists, four steals and three blocks in a leading performance, while the Sun also got a much-needed performance from Courtney Williams, who added 19 points of her own. Alyssa Thomas also had one of her typical performances, putting up 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists.

Led by Kahleah Copper with 16 points, all five starters scored in double figures for Sky. As a team, they shot 47.6 percent from the field and generally had few problems on the offensive end. However, his defense left a lot to be desired; they did not make things difficult for the Sun at any time.

Here are some key points of the game:

Sun finally makes a layup

During Game 3, exasperated Sun coach Curt Miller was caught on his microphone segment questioning why his players couldn’t make a layup. “Any suggestions on pro players making a layup?” Miller said. “Honestly, they’re going to fire me because we can’t make a layup.”

In Game 4, they finally found out and potentially saved Miller’s job in the process, at least for one more game. The Sun were automatic in this one hitting 26 of 40 in the restricted area and 33 of 51 in the paint overall. In the process, they set a new WNBA playoff record with 66 points in the paint. His success around the basket also played a part in his new franchise records for field goal percentage (56.9) and points (104) in a playoff game.

While the Sun, in many cases, simply did a better job of finishing around the basket, their ability to force turnovers and grab offensive rebounds also played a role in their success in Game 4. They turned the Sky around. 15 times, which set them off for 11 fast-break points and pulled down nine offensive rebounds en route to 15 second-chance points. The looks in those situations were easier and also helped the Sun build confidence after a tough Game 3.

williams appears

During her first stint with the team, Courtney Williams was one of the most dynamic defensive scorers in the league. She could take charge of quarters, halves and even games at times, and was the team’s joint leading scorer during their run to the Finals in 2019. Since returning to Connecticut, she hasn’t been able to reach those heights, at least not until Game 4.

On Tuesday night, he delivered his best playoff game at the perfect time for the Sun. He finished with 19 points, four rebounds and three assists on 9-of-14 shooting from the field. Even more encouraging is the way he did it; she was getting into the paint and cutting the ball instead of settling for a stream of low-percentage midrange jump shots.

The third quarter, in particular, was a throwback to 2019. Williams took over the frame, cutting through Sky’s defense en route to 10 points on 5-for-5 from the field. At one point, he had three straight layups to push the Sun’s lead to 16 points. When Williams operates like this, he gives the Sun a whole other dimension on the offensive end. Whether he can do it again in Game 5 remains to be seen; the Sun may need it if it wants to win.

Heaven never locked

Throughout the regular season, Sky had numerous halves or games where they seemed disconnected, and it was understandable that they were coming off a championship run. What’s more troubling is that they haven’t been able to shake those habits in the postseason.

Game 4 was another example. They slowly moved out of the blocks, allowing the Sun to overtake and overwhelm them in the first few minutes. Except for a brief period in the second quarter, they never found the focus or cohesion to get back into the game. There were too many moments like this where Azura Stevens just walked away from Courtney Williams when she had the ball.

Or this one in the third quarter where no one alerted Candace Parker to the fact that Natisha Heideman was backing up, and then they completely lost Williams at the other end.

To their credit, Sky has done an excellent job recovering from its worst moments this season. They’ve lost consecutive games just once and are already 2-0 in elimination games. Since last season, they are a perfect 4-0 when facing elimination. Do they have one more answer in them?

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