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Recap: Disparity from beyond the arc key in Sun blowout win over Lynx

The Connecticut Sun cruised to victory over the Minnesota Lynx and even got to rest Alyssa Thomas, Tiffany Hayes and DeWanna Bonner.

Connecticut Sun v Minnesota Lynx
Tiffany Hayes
Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

The Connecticut Sun began their Thursday night game against the Minnesota Lynx on a 19-6 run behind 11 points from Tiffany Hayes and never had to sweat the rest of the way. They went on lead by as much as 27 and were able to keep Alyssa Thomas’ playing time under 30 minutes — and Hayes’ and DeWanna Bonners’ under 25 — despite Brionna Jones’ absence, cruising to an 89-68 victory at Target Center in Minneapolis.

Jones injured her leg in the previous Sun game, and we can only hope she is not for an extended period.

Minnesota (4-9) was missing Aerial Powers (both ankles), Diamond Miller (ankle) and Jessica Shepard (illness).

The Sun (11-3) uncharacteristically made a lot of threes; their 12-of-25 performance from beyond the arc compared to the Lynx’s 4-of-22 effort was the key to the win, allowing them to overcome losing points in the paint 38-26 and the turnover margin by six.

Hayes finished with a game-high-tying (Napheesa Collier) 21 points to go along with six rebounds. She was 4-of-8 from downtown. Thomas followed up her WNBA-record fifth career triple-double with just two assists, but also 15 points and nine boards. DiJonai Carrington was huge off the bench with 17 points and five rebounds; she was 3-of-4 from outside.

Hayes hit two threes and converted on a 3-point play as part of her 11 points over the 19-6 run. She later made a right-wing three off a broken play to make it 22-11 Sun. Connecticut led 27-17 after one.

Thomas opened the second on a 4-0 individual run, which was followed by two free throws from Connecticut guard Tyasha Harris. Collier answered with her own 4-0 run, but then Thomas made a pretty reverse layup in transition to make it 35-21 Sun. Collier went on another 4-0 individual run to cut it to 39-28 before Hayes closed out the opening half with a layup that made it 41-28.

Bonner opened the second half with a deep three. Then came a questionable technical foul call on Tiffany Mitchell after Thomas was fouled on a transition layup attempt. Bonner made the technical free throw and Thomas made both of hers to make it a 6-0 Connecticut run to open the third.

After a Kayla McBride three, the Sun rattled off five more points to make it 52-31. Rebecca Allen blocked Collier, leading to a three from Natisha Hiedeman on the other end that capped that run.

Lindsay Allen did her best to stall the momentum that was building for Connecticut with 3-point plays at the 7:03 and 5:58 marks of the third. She also scored inside at 3:02 remaining before the fourth to cut it to 60-41. But the Sun led by 24 after a Hayes three made it 58-34, after Thomas free throws made it 65-41 and after a Harris mid-range make made it 67-43 entering the fourth.

Sun head coach Stephanie White sat Thomas, Bonner and Hayes long before the game was decided. She called a timeout at 7:56 remaining after after a 6-0 Lynx run cut it to 21, but elected to not bring her starters back in. Minnesota extended it to an 8-0 run, cutting it to 70-51 with a Collier layup at 7:32. But, ultimately, White was rewarded for not panicking, as a 5-0 individual run by Carrington followed and calmed things down. The Lynx got no closer than within 19 in the final frame.