Coach James Wade Calls Game 5 Loss ‘One of the Biggest Dissapointments’ of His Professional Career

The Connecticut Sun dethroned the Chicago Sky on Thursday, becoming another team in the long line of WNBA champions unable to become the first back-to-back champions since the Los Angeles Sparks did it in 2001 and 2002.

The Sky’s loss in a winner-take-all Game 5 against the Sun can be narrowed down by the fact that Chicago’s shot abandoned them during the biggest game of the season. Chicago ultimately shot 34.3 percent from the field and 32 percent from beyond the arc on Wednesday. They also squandered a 10-point lead going into the fourth quarter, missing their final eight shots of the night.

“We haven’t had a quarter like that, and to end the season off it, (that) didn’t display what we’ve actually done,” Coach James Wade said per ESPN. “I just wish I could’ve got them a bucket, and I just couldn’t. It’s just a tough feeling.”

While the defending champs struggled to get anything going, the Sun came together and had the perfect response to Chicago’s Kahleah Copper getting in the face of Connecticut’s DeWanna Bonner. Instead of allowing the tense moment and jaw-jacking to get in their head, the Sun responded by putting an 18-0 run on Chicago’s head over the final 4 minutes to cement their place in the WNBA Finals.

All five Connecticut starters were double-digit scorers, led by Bonner and Jonquel Jones, who scored 15 points apiece. Chicago was led by Cooper (game-high 22 points.) Emma Meesseman (14 points and six rebounds) and Courtney Vandersloot (12 points, three assists, three steals) combined for 26 points. Candace Parker could only muster seven points, nine boards, three steals, and four blocks on 2-7 shooting.

“It’s tough,” Wade said per the Chicago Tribune. “It’s probably one of the biggest disappointments that I’ve had professionally — It’s hard to put into words right now. This is going to hurt me for a long time. Felt I could’ve done a better job of getting them a bucket. I couldn’t get them one.”

Chicago will look to figure out how to address their free agency concerns with Parker, Vandersloot, and Allie Quigley headed into free agency and possibly retirement for Parker. Meesseman is also set to hit free agency after her one-year deal expires.