The 17 points scored by the Connecticut Sun to open its game Thursday night against the Los Angeles Sparks at STAPLES Center would be essentially the difference in an 18-point victory (75-57) who made a trip to the WNBA semifinals through a double bee in the playoffs.
Jonquel Jones, the forerunner of the MVP, scored 10 of the first 17 points and finished the first quarter with six rebounds. She would finish the night with 21 and 14 and the Sun (23-6) would throw their advantages on the free and get on the glass, 26-of-29 from the streak compared to LA’s 9-of-11 effort and exceeded the Sparks 32-19. The 29 free throw attempts were a high season for the Sun.
The game was fairly even in terms of field goal percentage (Connecticut won 44.2 to 41.8) and the Sun actually turned the ball 22 times, twice more than LA.
J. Jones added three rocks and two blocks, while DeWanna Bonner scored 11 points, six rebounds and five assists. Brionna Jones was second in the team with 15 points (7-of-8 from the field) and Jasmine Thomas was good for 10 points and three assists.
Nneka Ogwumike scored 12 points, seven boards, three helpers and two rocks in defeat when the Sparks fell to 10-19. They are a match from a playoff spot.
The Sun, who have now won 11 in a row, have selected up to two games ahead of the idle Las Vegas Aces in the race for the No. 1 overall.
“We tried hard to stay in the present, one game at a time, all the seeds and the bees would take care of themselves,” Miller said. ‘But we knew we were in control of our own destiny, and we know what it means to have a double day — knowing that you’re already in the semifinals. Now we just want to clean things up and continue to play and improve great basketball so that we can play our best basketball in the playoffs. ”
LA showed signs of life with an 8-2 run to close the opening frame. It then lost the second by six and halftime by 17. It won the third by one and lost the fourth by two.
After the match, J. Jones was asked about the MVP race and presented the following:
‘I think I think this season has been very good for me. I’m glad to be in the conversation, but in the end I know I’m not voting for the MVP. So I just have to go out there, do my best and focus on the most important thing: to win a championship. If I were to win the MVP and not get a championship, it would feel like a failure to me this season. My main goal and the goal of the team is to get out there and worry that we can put our best foot in the playoffs so that we can be a championship team at the end of the year. ”
The Sun take on the Phoenix Mercury in their next game, which takes place on Saturday. The Mercury has the second longest winning streak in the league at 10 games in a row.