Courtney Vandersloot’s Historic Night Led The Sky To A Game 1 Win Over The Sun

The first game of the 2021 WNBA Finals couldn’t have been any more thrilling. Despite the fact that the Connecticut Sun found themselves making headlines earlier in the day due to a trio of wins for individual regular season awards, most notably Jonquel Jones being named league MVP for the first time in her career, the team ended the evening in a 1-0 series hole after the Chicago Sky walked into Mohegan Sun Arena and won Game 1 in double overtime, 101-95.

While Candace Parker’s 22 points led the way for Chicago, Courtney Vandersloot etched her name in the history books with an 18 assist outing in the win. Vandersloot’s distribution was pristine all night, and by the time the dust settled, she managed to break the league’s single game playoff assist record, which was previously held by Sue Bird.

This is the second time in any game Vandersloot hit this assist mark — her 18 assists in a game in 2020 is the league’s regular season assist record, too. And she managed to do a whole heck of a more than set up her teammates on the evening, as she recorded a triple-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. It marked the second time in league history that someone got a triple-double in a playoff game, as the legendary Sheryl Swoopes did it back in 2005. For good measure, Vandersloot recorded four steals and a pair of blocks.

Parker, Allie Quigley (19 points), and Kahleah Copper (13) all hit double-digits in scoring for the Sky, with Parker chipping in six assists, five rebounds, two steals, and a block. Both Jonquel and Brionna Jones were magnificent for the Sun — the former went for 26 points and 11 rebounds, the latter has 22 and 10 with four steals — while Dewanna Bonner chipped in 13 and 10, but the Sun struggled to hit shots, as they went 34-for-90 (37.8 percent) from the field and 5-for-17 (29.4 percent) from three.

The good news for Connecticut, though, is that the team will get the chance to even the series up at home before things shift to Chicago for Game 3. The winners of their previous 14 games prior to Tuesday’s loss, the Sun will play host to the Sky on Thursday evening, with things slated to tip at 8 p.m. EST on ESPN2.