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Recap: Sun overcome Mercury’s second-half comeback attempt, earn 78-71 win

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The Connecticut Sun handily won the first two quarters on Wednesday night, which ended up being enough to claim victory in spite of the shorthanded Phoenix Mercury’s defense stepping up in the second half.

Connecticut Sun v Phoenix Mercury
Jasmine Thomas of the Sun nearly tied her season-high in scoring with 18 points on Wednesday night.
Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

The Connecticut Sun held off a Phoenix Mercury comeback to win 78-71 on Wednesday night and stop their mini-losing streak at two games. In their first game without league leading scorer Brittney Griner — who began her three-game suspension in this contest — the Mercury extended their losing streak to three games.

Connecticut opened the game hot, leading by as many as 11 points in the first quarter while shooting just over 50 percent. Phoenix picked things up the second quarter, but were still out-shot by a staggering 58.8 to 46.2 percent and the gap swelled to 15 points by halftime.

Although the Mercury threatened in the second half, winning both quarters as the Sun’s shooting dwindled, they couldn’t produce enough offense to complete the comeback.

This game was about the starters for both teams, as each had four of their starting five score in double figures. But Connecticut took advantage of its deeper bench. Its fifth player in double figures, Bria Holmes, played 20 minutes off the bench.

The Sun were led by Jasmine Thomas’ 18 points, Jonquel Jones’ 12 points and 14 rebounds and Courtney Williams’ 12 points. Holmes and Alyssa Thomas added 11 points apiece. While Connecticut shot a decent 44.8 percent from the floor, the team only converted 11 of their 23 free-throw attempts.

DeWanna Bonner led the Mercury’s attack with 17 points, Yvonne Turner added 15 points and Leilani Mitchell and Brianna Turner (who tied her career-high while getting the start in Griner’s absence) scored 12 points each. While Connecticut’s major scoring issue was at the line, Phoenix’s was from deep: The Mercury went just 1-of-15 from three.

Wednesday’s other action

After falling behind by seven points to close out the first quarter, the Washington Mystics blew past the Seattle Storm and won 88-59. Six Mystics players scored in double figures, led by Aerial Powers’ 16 points and Elena Delle Donne’s and Tianna Hawkins’ 14 points apiece.

The Dallas Wings, despite missing a handful of players due to suspensions, defeated the Los Angeles Sparks 84-78 anyway. Arike Ogunbowale put up a career-high 35 points to lead all scorers, becoming the first rookie this season to top 30 points. Glory Johnson added 20 points for the victors.

Up next

  • The Storm and Sun face off Friday, Aug. 16, at 7:30 p.m. ET (WNBA League Pass).
  • The Mystics take on the Minnesota Lynx on Friday, Aug. 16, at 8 p.m. ET (WNBA League Pass).
  • The Sparks meet the Chicago Sky on Friday, Aug. 16, at 8 p.m. ET (WNBA League Pass).
  • The Wings host the New York Liberty on Friday, Aug. 16, at 8 p.m. ET (CBS Sports Network).
  • The Mercury play the Atlanta Dream on Friday, Aug. 16, at 10 p.m. ET (CBS Sports Network).