Alyssa Thomas and DeWanna Bonner produced double-doubles Wednesday night as the third-seeded Connecticut Sun stopped the sixth-seeded Minnesota Lynx 90-75 in Minneapolis to win the teams’ first-round WNBA playoff series 2-1.
Bonner hit 8 of 13 shots from the field to score 25 points while adding 10 rebounds and six assists. She became the fifth player in league history to score 1,000 playoff points and the third to compile 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in postseason action.
Thomas finished with 28 points and 12 assists for the Sun, who also got 18 points off the bench from Tyasha Harris. Connecticut shot 58.3 percent in the first half and finished the night at 55.4 percent from the field.
Napheesa Collier starred in defeat for Minnesota with a game-high 31 points on 11-of-19 shooting. However, she didn’t have enough help. Kayla McBride, who fired in a game-high 28 points on Sunday in an 82-75 victory that evened the series, managed just 10 points on 3-of-12 shooting. Bridget Carleton came off the pine to score 13.
Connecticut advances to the semifinals for the fifth straight season. The Sun will travel to Brooklyn on Sunday for Game 1 of a best-of-five series against the second-seeded New York Liberty.
Connecticut never trailed Wednesday, taking control midway through the first quarter by rattling off 14 straight points in a 2:20 span. Bonner capped the run with a 3-pointer at the 4:45 mark for a 20-6 lead, and the Sun took a 26-19 advantage to the second period.
Minnesota made a push early in the second, closing within one on Carleton’s 3-pointer with 7:56 left and trailing by only three as late as Collier’s mid-range jumper at the 5:42 mark. However, the Sun ended the half with a 17-5 burst, using a Bonner buzzer-beater to take a 49-34 lead at the break.
The teams mostly traded buckets in the third quarter, with Tiffany Hayes driving for a last-minute layup that allowed Connecticut to stretch the margin to 65-49 going to the fourth period.
–Field Level Media