Connecticut Sun

WNBA: Ogwumike leads Los Angeles to 87-79 victory over Sun


WNBA: Ogwumike leads Los Angeles to 87-79 victory over Sun

UNCASVILLE, Conn. - Nneka Ogwumike scored 17 of her 21 points in the first half to help the Los Angeles Sparks beat the Connecticut Sun 87-79 on Tuesday night.

Candace Parker added 14 points, seven rebounds and five blocks for the Sparks (10-3), who have won six straight.

Los Angeles led by six at the half thanks to Ogwumike, who made her first eight shots. The Sparks scored 16 of the first 20 points in the second half to open up a double-digit lead. Riquna Williams, who is filling in for injured guard Essence Carson, spearheaded that burst and finished the game with 13 points.

The Sun (6-7) were down by 19 and got to 68-61 early in the fourth, but could get no closer as Los Angeles scored the next eight points..

Jasmine Thomas led Connecticut with 19 points. Jonquel Jones added 13 points and 17 rebounds.

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.