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At 36, Candace Parker Posts a Triple-Double, a W.N.B.A. Rarity

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Retirement could have been on Candace Parker’s mind before this season, but on the court she is showing no signs of being done.

Parker on Sunday became the third player in W.N.B.A. history to record multiple triple-doubles in a profession, ending with 16 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists within the Chicago Sky’s 82-73 win over the Washington Mystics. At 36 years 33 days old, Parker is the oldest player to record a triple-double within the league.

She accomplished the triple-double in the ultimate minute with an assist to Courtney Vandersloot, who last yr joined Sheryl Swoopes because the only player in league history with a couple of triple-double. Vandersloot’s effort, only the second postseason triple-double in W.N.B.A. history — Swoopes had the primary — helped Chicago beat top-seeded Connecticut in a semifinal series.

“She was adamant about me getting my tenth assist,” Parker said of Vandersloot in her postgame news conference. “So you recognize that’s why I like this group. You understand, I feel we play for an additional, we get hype for others’ successes and we rejoice it, and I feel that’s huge.”

Parker nearly went out as a champion last yr. After playing 13 seasons with the Los Angeles Sparks, she returned to her home state and helped deliver a W.N.B.A. title to the Sky. But her daughter, Lailaa, persuaded her to play in 2022, Parker said in an interview with Kristen Ledlow on NBA TV’s “WNBA Weekly.” Through five games, Parker is averaging 14 points and eight rebounds and shooting 49.1 percent from the sphere.

Parker’s feat Sunday is all of the more impressive given the scarcity of triple-doubles in W.N.B.A. history: Sunday was the eleventh within the league’s 26 seasons. The Liberty’s Sabrina Ionescu became the youngest player to record a triple-double last season.

With two college national titles at Tennessee, two Olympic gold medals and two W.N.B.A. titles, Parker has won at every level, and her Chicago team looks poised to contend again this yr. The Sky retained much of last yr’s roster, including Kahleah Copper, the 2021 finals most dear player who made her season debut Sunday, and so they added Emma Meesseman, who won finals M.V.P. in 2019 with Washington.

Chicago prevailed Sunday in a matchup featuring two Most Helpful Player Award winners: Parker (2008 and 2013) and Washington’s Elena Delle Donne (2015 and 2019). Delle Donne finished with 17 points, 7 rebounds and three steals. Six Chicago players, including Copper and Meesseman, finished in double figures.

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