DeWanna Bonner followed up a season-low five points on Tuesday with a career- and Connecticut Sun-franchise-high 41 on Thursday night at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. She was 5-of-7 from three and 16-of-23 from the field as the Sun (7-2) dealt the super-team Las Vegas Aces (7-1) their first loss of the season, 94-77.
A 14-2 Connecticut run that spanned from 6:05 in the first to 2:58 in the first gave the Sun a 20-8 lead. After Connecticut layups from Brionna Jones and Natisha Hiedeman, the rest of the run was a 10-2 individual run for Bonner. She hit a deep two, back-to-back threes and a mid-range shot.
The Aces opened the second quarter on a 6-0 run that cut their deficit to 26-21. Alysha Clark banked in a floater, Kelsey Plum made a pull-up triple and then Plum added a free throw at the 8:02 mark of the second. The Sun would answer with a 10-0 run and lead by double digits the rest of the contest. Bonner scored four points on this run, with twos also coming from Tyasha Harris, Tiffany Hayes and Jones. Vegas was unable to stop the run until a Chelsea Gray pull-up mid-range make at 4:09 remaining before the break.
Connecticut was able to hold a comfortable lead throughout the third and was really only threatened when a Clark reverse layup cut it to 64-54 forty-seven seconds into the fourth. Bonner answered that with a trey, and with 6:08 remaining made a layup that pushed the Sun’s lead to 77-60. She continued to pile on the points; a 3-pointer from her made it 90-67 with 2:50 to go.
Alyssa Thomas, who was one rebound shy of a triple-double on June 1, was two rebounds and a point shy Thursday night, finishing with nine points, eight boards and 12 assists to back up Bonner. Jones added 12 points, nine rebounds and three steals to the winning cause while Hayes was good for 11 points, five helpers and three swipes. Hiedeman chipped in with nine points and four assists. Thomas was just 3-of-11 from the field, but Jones was 6-of-9.
Plum paced Vegas with 16 points and added three helpers, while A’ja Wilson managed 13 points, four assists and three steals in defeat. Connecticut held Aces leading scorer Jackie Young (20.4 points per game on the season) to 10 points and WNBA legend Candace Parker to six. Young was at least efficient from the field (4-of-5), but was 0-of-1 from downtown.
The Aces had some good performances from beyond the arc come from other players. Gray was 2-of-3 from deep, Plum was 3-of-6 and Cayla George was 2-of-4.
The Sun finished with a field goal percentage of 52.9. They won points in the paint 40-24, second-chance points 11-4 and fast break points 17-5. They also won the turnover margin by six, forcing 18 Vegas miscues.