Candace Parker becomes oldest WNBA player to record triple-double

(Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)

As the clock wound down on the Chicago Sky’s 82-73 win over the Washington Mystics, Courtney Vandersloot signaled to Candace Parker to pass her the ball.

“She told me to [pass to] her and she was going to make the layup,” Parker said. “She was adamant about me getting my 10th assist. That’s why I love this group. We play for one another, we get hyped for others’ successes, and we celebrate it.”

Vandersloot knew that with the assist, Parker would record a triple-double — the second in her career, making her just the third player to have more than one in their career. Vandersloot became the second player to do so in the WNBA playoffs last year; Sheryl Swoopes was the first.

With 16 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists, Parker stands as the first player of the trio to record both of their triple-doubles during the regular season. At 36 years old, she’s also the oldest player to record a triple-double . Swoopes had held that spot previously, recording her second at 34 years old.

“To be in the company with Sloot, who does it on a regular basis and will probably end her career leading the league in assists, and Sheryl Swoopes, who I grew up watching and idolizing, I’m humbled by it,” Parker said. “I realize that there are more that are coming behind me. I hope that coaches are watching, that the point forward is where it’s at.”

With Parker’s standout performance, the Sky were able to overcome Washington. Six Chicago players were in double digits, including Kahleah Copper, who was making her return from overseas play. Copper had 12 points and four rebounds. Emma Meesseman had 11 points, four rebounds and two steals against her former team. Azurá Stevens, Rebekah Gardner and Allie Quigley all scored more than 10 points.

Despite the win, the Sky’s first half was at times sloppy, with the team committing 11 turnovers. They finished with 15 for the game. But with the help of Parker, the team outrebounded Washington 37-29.

Ariel Atkins had 20 points for the Mystics while Elena Delle Donne had 17 points, shooting 4-for-6 from 3-point range. Rookie Shakira Austin had a standout first half before finishing with 14 points, five rebounds, one block and one steal.

The Mystics led at halftime but the Sky went on a 21-5 run stretching from the third quarter into the fourth to take the lead.

“There’s going to be some games where shots don’t fall,” Delle Donne said. “It’s just not allowing each of us to get into our own heads and being on our own islands and not still playing through it and playing together.

“I think that was probably the biggest issue, just kind of all of us being like, ‘Oh, god, I’m missing shots.’ And then it turns into playing too much one-on-one….When you do that with a team of their caliber, with their length, with their skill set, it’s not going to be pretty.”