In a season filled with offensive records, the Connecticut Sun had another big scoring night in its second-round playoff game against the Phoenix Mercury before 7,858 at Mohegan Sun Arena. But it wasn’t quite enough as a late flurry lifted Phoenix to a 96-86 victory, ending Connecticut’s season.
In a game that featured 18 lead changes and seven ties, DeWanna Bonner (23 points, 18 rebounds) broke an 86-86 tie by converting on a layup with 2:10 left in regulation. With 1:53 left in the game, Brittney Griner blocked a Courtney Williams reverse layup that shifted the momentum to the Mercury.
The block sparked a 10-0 closing run that included six free throws by Bonner, Diana Taurasi (27 points) and Brittney Griner (27 points). Bonner, Taurasi and Griner combined for 30 made field goals and 77 points.
Courtney Williams had 27 points and eight rebounds to lead four players in double figures for the Sun. Alyssa Thomas chipped in with 17 points while Jasmine Thomas (14 points, five rebounds) and Jonquel Jones (13 points, seven rebounds, seven assists) also contributed.
The Sun had 35 made field goals, the most in a regulation playoff game in franchise history, and also dished out 20 assists. But Connecticut never led by more than seven points, and each time the Sun appeared ready to break the game open, Phoenix would rally.
Late in the third quarter, the Sun led by 67-61 when a Stephanie Talbot three started an 11-4 run to close out the third quarter. Phoenix led 72-71 to start the fourth, and trailed just once, when a four-point play by Williams put the Sun up 82-81. Williams scored again to make it 84-81 with 3:55 left, but Talbot hit another three to tie the game at 84.
The game was tied again at 86, and that’s when Bonner made her layup, starting the final push by Phoenix.
Listen to the Mercury post-game press conference with Phoenix Mercury Head Coach Sandy Brondello, Mercury guard Diana Taurasi, and Mercury center Brittney Griner.
Listen to the Sun post-game press conference with Connecticut Sun Head Coach Curt Miller, Sun guard Jasmine Thomas, and Sun guard Courtney Williams.
See photos from the game below, or visit the gallery here for full-size images.