The Connecticut Sun (22-9) took an early lead, withstood a comeback from the New York Liberty (9-22) in the third quarter and made their own comeback to win 94-84 on Friday night.
Courtney Williams led Connecticut with 26 points on 10-of-19 shooting while adding 6 rebounds and 5 assists in the win. Alyssa Thomas added 20 points and 9 rebounds. Overall, both Williams and Thomas had little difficulty having their way with plays like these:
The Thomas Connection. pic.twitter.com/WSs6Ni9mAz— Connecticut Sun (@ConnecticutSun) August 31, 2019
The final score doesn’t tell the whole story, however. New York made a big run of their own to start the third quarter despite not having Tina Charles (rest) or Asia Durr (groin injury) available to play. In fact, they went on an 18-3 run in the first seven minutes of the period and took a 59-53 lead after shooting 7-of-11 from the field.
However, the Sun just had more depth to overcome the Liberty’s runs and then some. They quickly went on a 14-2 run to finish the third quarter with a 67-61 lead. This tweet was published right before Connecticut’s last two points to finish things off:
Though New York was fighting an uphill battle for much of the night, Marine Johannes had 21 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds off the bench to keep them in a position to win for most of the game.
The Sun have already clinched a playoff berth, but are still looking to earn the top seed in the WNBA Playoffs. They are currently half a game behind the Washington Mystics (22-8) for the top seed but also hold the head-to-head tiebreaker.
New York was already out of playoff contention before the game. Though it’s easy to give up this late in the season, their third quarter run shows that they won’t hesitate to play spoiler in their remaining games this season.
The Liberty’s next game is on Tuesday, Sept. 3 when they host the Mystics. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. ET. The Sun will head back into action on Wednesday, Sept. 4 when they host the Dallas Wings. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. ET.