Connecticut Sun

Jasmine Thomas, Alyssa Thomas help Sun hand Lynx first loss, 98-93


Jasmine Thomas, Alyssa Thomas help Sun hand Lynx first loss, 98-93

Jasmine Thomas and Alyssa Thomas scored 20 points each and the Connecticut Sun handed the Minnesota Lynx their first loss this season, 98-93, on Saturday night.

Alyssa Thomas' 20 points are a season high as she reached 1,000 for her career and added a career-high eight assists. The Sun (5-5), who won their fourth straight, had a season-high 26 assists to go with 55-percent shooting from the field, including 45 percent (10 for 22) on 3-pointers.

Maya Moore scored 22 points to lead the Lynx (9-1), who shot 51 percent. Sylvia Fowles, Minnesota's leading scorer at nearly 22 points per game, was held to 12. The Lynx were outrebounded 36-21.

Jonquel Jones gave Connecticut lead for good at 81-79 on a long jumper with 7 1/2 minutes left. The Sun went up by eight but Maya Moore hit a 3 to cut the lead to 96-93 with 21 seconds remaining. Jasmine Thomas missed a pair of free throws with 19 seconds left but Moore was short of the rim with a 3-pointer.

WNBA: Sun season comes to an end with 88-83 loss to Mercury


WNBA: Sun season comes to an end with 88-83 loss to Mercury

UNCASVILLE, Conn. - Brittney Griner had 26 points and nine rebounds, Diana Taurasi added 23 points, and the Phoenix Mercury beat the Connecticut Sun 88-83 on Sunday to reach the semifinals of the WNBA playoffs.

Taurasi moved to 11-0 in elimination playoff games.

Phoenix will play second-seeded Los Angeles on Tuesday night in Game 1 of a best-of-five series.

Phoenix made 3-pointers on three straight possession late in the fourth quarter to take an 84-79 lead. Leilani Mitchell started it with an open shot from the wing for a 78-76 lead. Taurasi came off a screen for another 3, and Monique Currie capped it with 2:31 left.

Connecticut, down 84-81, grabbed an offensive rebound and Shekinna Stricklen was fouled with 11.4 seconds left but she missed two free throws. Phoenix's Camille Little grabbed the rebound and she made two free throws for a two-possession lead.

Currie and Mitchell each added 12 points for Phoenix.

Alyssa Thomas had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Jonquel Jones added 19 points and 15 rebounds for Connecticut. Jones had 11 points and 12 rebounds in the first half to set a playoff franchise record for rebounds in a half.

Phoenix trailed by as many as 17 points in the second quarter, but Taurasi's layup in traffic pulled the Mercury to 45-38. Griner scored 11 of her 13 first-half points in the second quarter.

Griner made a baseline shot with 32 seconds left in the third for Phoenix's first lead, 68-66, since 3-0.

WNBA: Sparks top Sun, 81-70; Jones sets season rebounding mark


WNBA: Sparks top Sun, 81-70; Jones sets season rebounding mark

LOS ANGELES - Nneka Ogwumike scored 21 points, Candace Parker had a double-double and the defending champion Los Angeles Sparks closed the WNBA regular season with an 81-70 win over Connecticut on Sunday.

Los Angeles (26-8) went 15-1 at home, but finished a game behind Minnesota for the top seed in the playoffs. The Sparks have a bye until the semifinals. The Sun (21-13) are the fourth seed and have a first-round bye.

Parker had 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Sparks and Odyssey Sims had 16 points.

Courtney Williams led the Sun with 19 points. Jonquel Jones had 10 rebounds to finish with 403, the first player in league history to surpass 400. Tina Charles held the old record at 398. With 10 points, Jones had 20 double-doubles this season.

The Sparks never trailed, leading 20-13 after one quarter and 38-27 at the half. They finished shooting 51 percent and had a 56-20 advantage on points in the paint.

Los Angeles had the same record last year and was also the No. 2 seed but beat the top-seeded Lynx in the finals.