Sun have Momentum off Huge Game 4 Win
If ever a series deserved to go the distance, it would be the one between Eastern Conference rivals Connecticut and Chicago.
The Chicago Sky entered Game 4 one win away from becoming the first WNBA defending champion to return to the WNBA finals the following year since Minnesota followed up the 2016 title run by getting back to the championship series in 2017.
Connecticut had other ideas playing in a must-win game on its home court. The Sun led by 17 points at halftime and rolled to the 104-80 victory to set up Game 5 in Chicago. It was an unexpected result in a series where four of the last five games were decided by four points or less and the last nine matchups ended as single-digit victories,
Connecticut opened the series with a win at Wintrust Arena to snap a streak of six consecutive road losses to the Sky. The winner of Game 5 will face No. 1 seed Las Vegas in the WNBA championship series. If Chicago wins, it would mark the third time in the last four years that the Nos. 1 and 2 seeds meet in the championship series.
The odds for Chicago to win the WNBA title moved from +250 to +225 after the Game 3 win while the odds for Connecticut went from +325 to +1400 according to the WNBA playoff odds.
Sun One Step from WNBA Finals
The Connecticut Sun have been so close to winning the franchise’s first WNBA championship before. Now the only thing standing between the Sun and a fourth trip to the WNBA finals is Thursday’s Game 5.
The trio of DeWanna Bonner, Alyssa Thomas and Courtney Williams bounced back in a major way in Game 4. After the three starters combined to miss 25 of their 36 field-goal attempts in the Game 3 loss, they had 55 points on 22-of-36 shooting to go with 18 rebounds and 11 assists in Game 4. Bonner moved into seventh place on the WNBA’s all-time playoff scoring list.
— Connecticut Sun (@ConnecticutSun) September 7, 2022
Bonner played 36 minutes but because of the lopsided nature of the game but all the other starters were on the court for less than 30 minutes. That gave the bench a chance to shine. WNBA Sixth Player of the Year Brionna Jones was her typical reliable self with 11 points and six rebounds in 21 minutes. Dijonai Carrington and Odyssey Sims combined for 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting.
The Sun shot 57% from the field in Game 4 and resisted the temptation to go crazy from 3-point range as 57 of the 72 field-goal attempts came from inside the 3-point line.
Connecticut has covered against the WNBA betting lines in eight of its last 11 games.
Chicago Happy to be Returning Home
The Chicago Sky had the best home record in the WNBA during the regular season, and with a spot in the WNBA finals on the line, the Sky will be returning to the friendly confines of Wintrust Arena.
If there was a positive to come out of Game 4, it was that head coach James Wade was able to distribute the playing time with the Sun turning the game into a blowout.
Veteran guards Allie Quigley and Courtney Vandersloot played 19 and 17 minutes while Candace Parker was on the court for 26 minutes. In a series when the starting five was called upon to lead the Sky back to the championship series, having four reserves play at least 10 minutes was a different look. Guard Dana Evans began the season with 39 points in 61 minutes in the first two games. Her playing time dwindled as she saw at least 10 minutes of playing time in just two of the previous 10 games before scoring 10 points in 10 minutes in Game 4.
Things figure to get back to normal in Game 5 with Azura Stevens, Rebekah Gardner and Julie Allemand the reserves most likely to be part of the main rotation.
Don’t expect proven playoff contributors Parker and Quigley to shoot 6 of 15 from the field in the series finale.
Something to consider for those who bet online: Chicago has covered in four of its last six games.
Sun vs Sky Game Information
- Game: Sun 25-11 (4-3 in the playoffs) vs Sky 26-10 (4-3 in the playoffs)
- Location: Wintrust Arena, Chicago
- Day/Time: Thursday, Sept. 8, 8 p.m. ET
- Sun vs Sky Live Stream: WNBA.com
Sun vs Sky Betting Lines
|Team||Point Spread||Moneyline||Total||Team Total|
|Connecticut Sun||+4 -110||+155||159½ -110o||78½ -115o / 78½ -115u|
|Chicago Sky||-4 -110||-175||159½ -110u||83 -115o / 83 -115u|
Sun vs Sky Prediction
One game separated Connecticut and Chicago during the regular season and the teams are both 4-3 in the postseason, so expect Game 5 in the semifinal series to come right down to the end between two teams worthy of playing for the WNBA championship.
Chicago proved its ability to close out playoff series during the 2021 championship run. Meanwhile, Connecticut is 1-4 in the best-of-five series and that includes a loss to Chicago in the 2021 semifinals.
The Sky is just 3-7-1 against the spread in the last 11 home games while Connecticut has covered in eight of its last nine games.
Parker is leading Chicago in scoring (17 points per game) and with 10.5 rebounds in the first two games. She is also contributing 4.3 assists, 1.8 steals and 3.0 blocked shots per game.
DeWanna Bonner is averaging 13.5 points to lead five Connecticut Sun double-digit scorers in the series. A 4½ line seems a bit high even for a playoff-tested team like Chicago.