Women’s Basketball Daily Briefing: Candace Parker makes history

It’s Monday, I’m sorry. Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, daily Watch List and Yesterday’s Recap. Day 15 of the WNBA season is here, following Candace Parker doing what she usually does: being incredible and making history. The Chicago big notched her second-career triple-double, both the shortest in WNBA history and the first with as many points and rebounds. In the final year of her career, Parker is playing as well as ever, and the Sky are certainly benefiting. Chicago now sits 3-2 overall and are an opening-night overtime with Los Angeles and close defeat in Seattle away from being undefeated. Kahleah Copper is finally here, and now Azurá Stevens, Dana Evans and Rebekah Gardner are coming off the bench.

Talk about an embarrassment of riches.

But first, read:

W Roundup

Minnesota: Released center Hannah Sjerven, her hardship terminating with big Natalie Achonwa available ahead of schedule

watchlist, Monday, May 23

(All times in Eastern)

Los Angeles @ Las Vegas, 10 p.m., League Pass/Facebook (Local: SpectrumSportsnet, My LV TV)

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Sunday, May 22 recap

Connecticut beat Indiana, 92-70. The Sun shot 51.5% from the field and 46.2% from three while holding the Fever to 34.9% and 17.6%, respectively; the teams combined for 49 fouls.

Big Alyssa Thomas led Connecticut with 18 points on 7-for-12 from the field and 4-for-6 from the line, six rebounds, six assists and two steals in 27 minutes; center Brionna Jones had 18 points on 6-for-10 FG (6-6 FT), six rebounds (five offensive) and two steals against two turnovers and five fouls in 29 minutes; combo guard Courtney Williams notched 15 points on 7-for-12 shooting (1-3 3pt.), four rebounds and four assists against three turnovers; point guard Jasmine Thomas left eight minutes in with a knee injury.

Indiana was led by combo forward Victoria Vivians’ 15 points on 4-for-11 from the field, 2-for-5 from three, and 5-for-6 from the line, two assists and two steals without a turnover; combo forward Emily Engstler had 11 points on 5-for-10 shooting (0-2 3pt.) and seven rebounds (four offensive) in 19 minutes; center Queen Egbo notched nine points on 3-for-9 FG, eight rebounds (four offensive), two assists, and two steals.

(Editor’s note: at least Fever fans got to celebrate the good times…)

Chicago beat Washington, 82-73. The Mystics jumped out to a 16-8 lead, but the Sky responded with a 14-2 run; the game was back-and-forth and within two possessions from the start of the second quarter through the late third, and then Chicago had a 22-5 run. The Sky shot 16.5% better from the field, but the Mystics shot 17.9% better from three; Chicago won the rebounding battle by eight; Washington notched 10 steals.

The Sky were led by Candace Parker’s second-career triple-double, with 16 points (7-13 FG, 2-6 3pt.), 13 rebounds and 10 assists against only one turnover, in 30 minutes — the first 15/13/ 10 game in W history, the first triple-double in just 30 minutes and making Parker just the third player with multiple trip-dubs (per Across The Timeline and Her Hoop Stats); wing Kahleah Copper made her season debut, finishing with 12 points on 5-for-11 shooting (1-3 3pt.) and four rebounds in 27 minutes; backup combo forward Rebekah Gardner notched 11 points on 4-for-6 from the field (1-2 3pt.), three rebounds and three steals against three turnovers and four fouls in 23 minutes; big Azurá Stevens came off the bench for the first time this season, and recorded 13 points on 5-for-8 from the field (1-3 3pt.) in 22 minutes.

Off-ball guard Ariel Atkins led the Mystics with 20 points on 6-for-16 from the field and 4-for-9 from three, three rebounds and three assists against five fouls in 30 minutes; big Elena Delle Donne had 17 points on 6-for-14 shooting (4-6 3pt.), seven rebounds, two assists and three steals against two turnovers; center Shakira Austin notched 14 points on 6-for-10 FG, five rebounds and three assists without a turnover in 23 minutes; center Elizabeth Williams made her season debut, scoring nine points (4-6 FG) off the bench in 12 minutes.

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