Sports

/

ArcaMax

Sun win 10th consecutive matchup with Sparks, 79-70, maintain best record in the WNBA

Emily Adams, Hartford Courant on

Published in Basketball

UNCASVILLE, Conn. — The Connecticut Sun returned from back-to-back road trips with a decisive 79-70 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks in front of their home Mohegan Sun Arena crowd on Tuesday.

Connecticut improved to a WNBA-best 13-1 with the win, preserving its position as having the best record in the league. It was the Sun’s 10th consecutive victory over Los Angeles dating back to 2020 and the Sparks’ fourth loss in a row this year.

The Sun continue to build consistency in their starts and led Los Angeles 18-14 after the first quarter. Brionna Jones opened by shooting 3 for 4 from the field for seven points in the first five minutes, but she sat the rest of the quarter after picking up two quick fouls. Superstar forward Alyssa Thomas also landed in early foul trouble, logging two points, four assists and three rebounds in the first quarter before spending more than five minutes on the bench in the second.

Connecticut’s backcourt stepped up with the forwards limited, and DeWanna Bonenr was the only double-digit scorer on either team at halftime with 10 points plus two steals. Tyasha Harris also drained a pair of 3-pointers and shot 100% from the field in the first half for eight points.

The Sparks suffered a brutal blow less than four minutes into the game when star rookie Cameron Brink misstepped while driving against Jones and was carried off the court with an apparent left knee injury. She did not return to the bench. Los Angeles turned to 6-foot-7 Li Yueru in Brink’s absence, and the second-year center had one of the best games of her young career with 11 points, shooting 5 for 6, plus two rebounds and two assists.

 

Yueru made the Sparks’ only first-half 3-pointer and the Sun held them to an abysmal 16.7% from beyond the arc while hitting above 50% both from the field and from 3 before halftime. Los Angeles finished 6 for 17 from 3-point range led by two makes from UConn alum Kia Nurse, and Aari McDonald led the Sparks with 14 points plus seven assists.

Connecticut built on its lead immediately in the second half, and all five starters were in double digits by the end of the third quarter. Bonner ended as the Sun’s leading scorer with 16 points, also adding seven rebounds. Harris was close behind with 14 points, shooting 6 for 9 from the field and 2 for 2 on 3-pointers. The Sun scored 30 points off 22 Sparks turnovers, while Los Angeles forced just 11 against them.

The Sun bench had another impactful performance as Tiffany Mitchell logged six points, shooting 3 for 7, plus four rebounds, and Rachel Banham also scored seven and added two assists after a season-high 16 points against the Dallas Wings on Saturday.

Thomas finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and seven assists plus two steals, once again coming just short of her signature triple-double stat line. Last year’s MVP runner-up is already one of just three players to record multiple triple-doubles in a season and could become the first to do so in three different years if she records a second in 2024. Her first came in the season opener against the Indiana Fever.


©2024 Hartford Courant. Visit courant.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

 

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus