Candace Parker, Curt Miller trade barbs as Sun oust Sky in WNBA semis

Connecticut Sun coach Curt Miller pointed out his team's playoff success against Candace Parker. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Connecticut Sun coach Curt Miller highlighted his team’s playoff success against Chicago Sky star Candace Parker after their win Thursday night.

The Sun knocked the Sky out of the playoffs with a 72-63 victory to close out the WNBA semifinals.

So for the third time in four years, Connecticut has knocked Parker out of the postseason. The Sun beat Parker and the Los Angeles Sparks in the 2019 semifinals, and they also beat Los Angeles in the second round in 2020 before Parker made the move to Chicago.

“I do want to get on the record for this. We’ve knocked Candace Parker out of the playoffs three out of the last four years,” Miller said. “She is an incredible, all-time great in this league.

“But I hope someone writes the combination of JJ [Jonquel Jones], AT [Alyssa Thomas] and Bri Jones have knocked her out three out of the last four years. I hope that post group gets credit for what they do, night in and night out, for us.”

When asked about Miller’s comments in her own postgame press conference, Parker responded in kind.

“I mean, here’s the thing. We have a standard that we uphold. We won a championship last year. We don’t hang conference banners,” Parker said.

“So, to be honest with you — I mean, defensively I think that, yeah, they did a great job. They won the series,” she continued. “But I think if it’s anything it’s us and our aggression that changes things. And we’ve shown that we can do that in a series, regardless… It is what it is.”

As Miller noted, the Sun have bested Parker in the playoffs in three of the last four seasons.

In 2021, though, the Sky beat the Sun 3-1 in the semifinals en route to their first title in franchise history. Connecticut still has yet to win a WNBA championship.

“They’ll take their championship for sure,” Miller said. “It won’t mean anything if we can’t find a way to finish that.”

The Sun will have the chance to go for their first title starting Sunday, but they’ll face a tough test in the Las Vegas Aces. The Aces boast WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson among other threats, including Kelsey Plum and Chelsea Gray.

“We stayed locked in, we’re not about to be bullied,” Jonquel Jones said after her team’s Game 5 win. “We’re here and we’re locked in.

“We came into this series, we had that mindset of another opportunity and I think that’s the biggest thing. How many people get to say they can do that, and come back and play against the team that knocked them out last year? For us, it was the mindset and mentality to just play good basketball.”