Fri, 22 Oct 2021

Sun trounce Liberty in Alyssa Thomas' return

Field Level Media
16 Sep 2021, 11:19 GMT+10

Jonquel Jones totaled 18 points and 13 rebounds, DeWanna Bonner scored 18 and the league-leading Connecticut Sun used a big third quarter to rally past the visiting New York Liberty 98-69 for their league-best 13th straight win.

Needing a win to keep pace in the playoff race, New York jumped out to a 47-44 lead at halftime after opening a 20-14 advantage through one quarter.

Briann January's 3-pointer with 6:42 remaining put the Sun ahead for good at 55-54. Connecticut ended the third quarter on a 25-6 run and outscored the visitors 33-13 in the period to break the game open. Overall, the Sun outscored the Liberty 54-22 after halftime.

Brionna Jones added 13 points and seven rebounds, DiJonai Carrington scored 14, Natisha Hiedeman had 11 points and five assists and Jasmine Thomas contributed 10 points for the Sun.

Alyssa Thomas finished with six points in 17 minutes off the bench her season debut for the Sun after missing the team's first 30 games while recovering from surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon. The two-time WNBA All-Star forward sustained the injury while playing overseas with USK Praha in the Czech Republic in January.

Thomas, 28, last appeared in a WNBA game on Sept. 29, 2020 in Game 5 of the Sun's semifinal series loss to Las Vegas.

Connecticut (25-6) clinched the No. 1 overall seed and a first-round bye in the upcoming WNBA playoffs after a 76-67 win at Phoenix last Saturday.

Natasha Howard scored a game-high 25 points to pace New York. Michaela Onyenwere had 14 points and Sabrina Ionescu scored 12 for the Liberty, who committed 28 turnovers en route to their eighth straight loss.

New York (11-20) entered trailing idle Washington (12-18) by one game for the eighth and final playoff spot. The Liberty were in a statistical tie with the Los Angeles Sparks (11-19), who were also idle Wednesday.

The Liberty host the Mystics on Friday night to close out the regular season.

Connecticut hosts the Atlanta Dream in its regular-season finale on Sunday afternoon.

--Field Level Media

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