June 24, 2022 

Daily Briefing — June 24, 2022: COURT ROYALTY — Candace Parker becomes first WNBA player to record three career triple-doubles

Fowles impresses in return from knee injury

Happy Friday! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, the daily Watch List, and Yesterday’s Recap. Title IX is 50 years old as of yesterday, and Pride of Chicago Candace Parker wasn’t about to let it pass without elevating both the game of basketball and the impact of Title IX on women’s sports. Parker hasn’t been shy about her experiences with Title IX. Her first documentary, “Title IX: 37 Words That Changed America” debuted earlier this year on TBS ahead of the NCAA Tournament, and Parker has continued to speak about the policy’s impacts, both personal to her and more broadly, ever since. Oh, and she also made WNBA history, because of course she did.

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Candace Parker brought the heat in Chicago’s victory over her former LA Sparks, notching her third career triple-double, the first of its kind in WNBA history. She is also now the first player to have multiple triple-doubles in the same year and before the mid-point of the season. The historic triple-double is also the fastest in WNBA history, beating out Parker’s previous by three minutes and 46 seconds. With this feat, 2022 becomes the first year to have more than two triple-doubles, per Her Hoop Stats.

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Then, in Minnesota, Lynx center Sylvia Fowles returned to the court after suffering a cartilage injury to her right knee that caused her to miss Minnesota’s last five games. In just 22 minutes, the newly crowned All-Star co-captain put up a 14-point/10-rebound double-double, her seventh of the season, alongside a newly invigorated Lynx team that grabbed its second win in a row, the Lynx’s longest winning streak of the season.

In Seattle, the Mystics faltered and the Storm grabbed the victory needed for point guard Sue Bird to tie Lindsay Whalen for most career wins all-time. Finally, coming off a thrilling win over the Sky, the Fever hoped to keep the momentum going in Dallas, but they couldn’t keep up with Wings off-ball guard Arike Ogunbowale’s most efficient 3-point shooting game of the season. She sank 6-for-9 from behind the arc in the win that evened Dallas’ record to 9–9.

But first read…

  • Our Jenn Hatfield takes you through Mystics star Elena Delle Donne’s return to regular play following an extensive injury recovery and the evolution of her game in the opening half of her comeback season.
  • Andscape’s Sean Hurd chronicles a monumental day in the life of Fever combo guard Kelsey Mitchell as she hit 1,000 career points and earned her master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati.
  • Marnie Vinall explores the return of Australian basketball superstar Lauren Jackson to the Opals and the significance of the decision for The Sydney Morning Herald.

W Roundup

Atlanta: Released off-ball guard Destiny Slocum from a hardship contract and signed combo guard Yvonne Turner to a hardship contract.

Minnesota: Released big Nikolina Milić from a hardship contract.

Phoenix: Released off-ball guard Jennie Simms from a hardship contract.

Today is the mid-season cut-down deadline!

Watch List, Friday, June 24

(All times in ET)

New York @ Atlanta, 7:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network (Local: Bally Sports South)

Thursday, June 23 recap

Dallas (9–9) beat Indiana (5–14), 94–68. Dallas took the lead immediately and never looked back. Quickly mounting a 14–2 run to open the first, the Wings would find themselves with a double digit lead that they would maintain for the rest of the match. On their way to outscoring the Fever in every quarter, the Wings shot 10.3 percentage points better from the field, and 12.5 percentage points better from three than Indiana. This allowed Dallas to out-pace Indiana in scoring as they sank five more threes, all but guaranteeing the win from the opening minutes. Overall, the Wings logged nine more steals and had five fewer turnovers.

Off-ball guard Arike Ogunbowale led Dallas and all scorers with 24 points on 9-for-17 from the field (6–9 3pt) along with six assists, four rebounds, and tied her career-high five steals on three fouls. Center Teaira McCowan had 12 points on 4-for-5 from the field (4–6 FT) and 10 rebounds on four fouls in just 14:35 minutes off the bench for the Wings. The performance was her second double-double of the season. McCowan becomes the only reserve player to log a double-double in less than 15 minutes, per Across the Timeline. Big Isabelle Harrison had 16 points on 6-for-8 from the field (4–4 FT) and three rebounds.

Though not counted in her double double, a huge block from McCowan followed by a characteristic post move that made her highly efficient on the court.

For the Fever, combo guard Kelsey Mitchell led with 22 points on 8-for-13 from the field (2–3 3pt, 4–5 FT), along with four assists on three turnovers. Center Queen Egbo logged her first career double-double, with 12 points on 5-for-8 from the field (2–3 FT) and 12 rebounds (six offensive).

Minnesota (5–13) beat Phoenix (6–12), 100–88. The Mercury took an early lead, but the Lynx weren’t far behind, keeping within one possession and eventually taking the lead with a 12–0 run to close out the first. From that point on, Minnesota would continue to build their lead and would never give it up, outscoring Phoenix in all but the final quarter. Overall, the Lynx out-rebounded the Mercury by 9, all of which came on the offensive end, giving the Lynx 14 more second chance points than Phoenix.

For the Lynx, point guard Moriah Jefferson led with 21 points on 7-for-11 from the field (3–5 3pt, 4–6 FT), along with five assists, three rebounds, and two steals on five turnovers and five fouls. Center Sylvia Fowles logged her sixth double-double, with 14 points on 7-for-12 from the field and 10 rebounds (three offensive) in just 22 minutes. Combo forward Jessica Shepard logged nine points, nine rebounds (two offensive), and three assists off the bench.

The run to define all runs for the Lynx, with a fade-away jumper from Natalie Achonwa, a coast-to-coast drive from Rachel Banham, an inbound steal to reverse layup from Moriah Jefferson, and a give-and-go between Jefferson and Sylvia Fowles for a Fowles finger-roll layup.

Mercury center Tina Charles led Phoenix and all scorers with 26 points on 9-for-15 from the field (2–3 3pt, 6–8 FT), along with five rebounds on four fouls. Combo guard Diana Taurasi logged 23 points on 5-for-9 from the field (2–6 3pt, 6–8 FT), along with three assists on four turnovers and five fouls. Guards Shey Peddy and Skylar Diggins-Smith combined for 26 points on 8-for-19 from the field (4–13 3pt, 6–8 FT) and eight assists.

Seattle (11–6) beat Washington (11–9), 85–71. The Mystics took the early lead, but the Storm quickly overtook the lead to gain a multiple-possession advantage by the end of the first. Despite coming within striking distance and even taking a one point lead towards the end of the second quarter, Washington wasn’t able to hold on as Seattle barreled ahead. Overall, the Storm shot 8.5 percentage points better from the field and 16.2 percentage points better from three than the Mystics. Washington out-rebounded Seattle by seven and had four more blocks.

Seattle combo guard Jewell Loyd led the Storm and all scorers with 22 points on 7-for-14 from the field (6–8 3pt, 2–2 FT) along with three rebounds and three assists on four turnovers and four fouls. Center Ezi Magbegor had 20 points on 9-for-16 from the field and five rebounds, while point guard Sue Bird had 12 points on 4-for-7 from the field (2–4 3pt), eight assists, and a season-high three steals. Big wing Breanna Stewart had 19 points on 6-for-15 from the field (2–8 3pt, 5–6 FT), nine rebounds and a season-high seven assists without a single foul or turnover, a first for Stewart this season.

Back-to-back Loyd daggers give the Storm room to charge ahead over the Mystics.

For the Mystics, big Elena Delle Donne had 20 points on 7-for-17 from the field (2–6 3pt, 4–4 FT) and four rebounds on three turnovers. Center Shakira Austin had 8 points on 2-for-5 from the field (4–6 FT), along with nine rebounds (four offensive). Big Myisha Hines-Allen had 12 points on 4-for-9 from the field (2–2 3pt) and six rebounds on three turnovers off the bench for Washington.

Chicago (12–5) beat Los Angeles (6–10), 82–59. The Sky took the early lead and the game quickly took a dominating tone from the Chicago side. By the half, they lead by 29, and the Sparks showed no attempt to fight back, making just 26 of 79 attempts from the field. Chicago shot 12.8 percentage points better from the field and 13.7 percentage points better from three than Los Angeles. The Sky also logged a perfect 11-for-11 from the free throw line to the Sparks’ 4-for-8, and out-rebounded the Sparks by 15.

For Chicago, big Candace Parker had 10 points on 4-for-14 from the field (1–5 3pt), 14 rebounds, and 10 assists for her third, and fastest, career triple-double. She also had two blocks and logged just one foul and one turnover. Point guard Courtney Vandersloot had 15 points on 6-for-8 from the field (1–2 3pt) and just one assist, while big Azura Stevens had 15 points on 5-for-11 from the field (3–7 3pt) and three rebounds.

(This game is missing from League Pass, so no clips unfortunately, but imagine a gorgeous two-person transition play from Parker to Stevens to put the Sky up 13)

For Los Angeles, big Nneka Ogwumike led with 15 points on 7-for-17 from the field, four rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Off-ball guard Brittney Sykes had 13 points on 5-for-15 from the field (3–6 FT), five rebounds, three assists, and two steals.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story indicated that Sue Bird passed Lindsay Whalen’s all-time career wins record. Sue Bird has tied the record. The article has been updated.

Written by Isabel Rodrigues

Isabel Rodrigues (she/her) is a contributing editor for The Next from upstate New York. She occasionally covers 3x3 and labor in women's basketball.

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