Late in the second quarter on Tuesday night, Kahleah Copper picked up a loose ball and threw an outlet pass to Candace Parker. The ball sailed out of play, however, in part because Copper put too much on the pass, and in part because Parker couldn’t chase it down.
“I don’t have wheels,” Parker joked to her teammate on the floor.
The veteran may not have the speed she once did, but she’s still one of the best players in the league. A few days after her seventh All-Star appearance, Parker went off for 31 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and three steals to lead the Chicago Sky to a 90-75 win over the Atlanta Dream.
In the process she made all sorts of history and reached a number of milestones:
- At 36 years old, Parker became the oldest player in WNBA history to record a 30-point, 10-rebound game.
- Her 31 points were not only a season-high, but the most she’s scored in a Sky uniform, besting the 30 she put up last season
- Parker moved past former teammate Lisa Leslie into ninth place on the all-time scoring list, and now has 6,286 career points
- She also recorded her 150th career double-double, becoming just the fourth player in league history to do so
Despite being a versatile offensive player who can create her own shot with ease, Parker doesn’t always look to score — especially at this stage of her career. But on a night when Kahleah Copper was the only other player who could get anything going, Parker had to step up to help her team get a win.
She went 12 of 20 from the field, setting new season highs for both makes and attempts. Though the Sky’s offense became more balanced in the fourth quarter as they surged in front for good, Parker still scored or assisted on nearly as many points (nine) as the entire Dream team (10) in the frame.
Thanks to Parker’s big night, the Sky started the second half of the season with a win and improved to 17-6. The Sky have now won seven of their last nine games, and remain all alone in first place with a one-game lead over the Las Vegas Aces, who were also victorious on Tuesday.