Sun pull away from shorthanded Mercury

Jasmine Thomas scored 18 points to help the Connecticut Sun record a 78-71 victory over the host Phoenix Mercury on Wednesday night.

Jonquel Jones added 12 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots for the Sun (17-8), who broke a two-game skid. Courtney Williams had 12 points and three steals, Alyssa Thomas notched 11 points and nine rebounds and Bria Holmes tallied 11 points.

DeWanna Bonner scored 17 points for the Mercury (11-13), who fell for the fifth time in the past six games. Yvonne Turner had 15 points, Brianna Turner added 12 points and eight rebounds and Leilani Mitchell also had 12 points.

Phoenix was without center Brittney Griner, who sat out the first of a three-game suspension for her role in a fight that occurred during Saturday's game against the Dallas Wings. Mercury star Diana Taurasi also received a one-game suspension but she sat out Wednesday's game with a back injury and will serve her penalty when she is cleared to return.

Phoenix was just 1 of 15 from 3-point range and shot 38.6 percent overall. The Mercury committed 19 turnovers.

The Sun shot 44.8 percent from the field -- including 7 of 24 from 3-point range -- and had 15 miscues.

Connecticut held a 15-point halftime lead and pushed its advantage to 58-38 on Shekinna Stricklen's 3-pointer with 6:50 remaining in the third quarter.

The Mercury answered with a 10-1 surge to pull within 59-48 on Bonner's basket with 3:55 left.

The Sun recovered to lead by 18 later in the quarter before settling for a 68-55 lead entering the final stanza.

Phoenix started the fourth quarter on a run and it capped a 15-1 spurt that began in the third quarter with a basket by Bonner to cut the Connecticut lead to 69-66 with 5:18 remaining.

But the Mercury stalled and went scoreless for nearly 4 1/2 minutes and didn't make another field goal until 20.9 seconds remained.

The Sun capitalized by ripping off seven straight points to push the lead to 10 with 1:47 left en route to closing it out.

Jasmine Thomas scored 12 first-half points to help the Sun hold a 49-34 halftime edge.

Connecticut's biggest bulge of the first half was 17.

--Field Level Media

08/15/2019 4:26

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