Alyssa Thomas, Connecticut Sun use huge comeback to secure crucial win over Liz Cambage, Las Vegas Aces
Thomas finished with 27 points as the Sun picked up a win that will have major implications in the playoff race
With just a few weeks remaining until the playoffs, and the race for a top-two seed heating up, Friday night's matchup between the Las Vegas Aces and Connecticut Sun was perhaps the most important game of the season thus far. The contest lived up to its billing, as the Sun used a huge third-quarter comeback to secure an 89-85 victory.
It was the Sun who actually started off well, jumping out to a double-digit lead in the first quarter behind a hot start from Courtney Williams, their shifty shooting guard. Their early success didn't last long, however, as the Aces started to settle in on both sides of the ball. A'ja Wilson and Dearica Hamby were key, combining for 17 points in the second quarter as the Aces took control of the game and built a double-digit lead of their own.
But they couldn't hold on to their lead either, and the Sun wrestled back control late in the third, using a 15-0 run to take the lead. Alyssa Thomas simply took over the game, dropping 13 of her game-high 27 points in the frame to power the Sun's turnaround.
After a back-and-forth fourth quarter, the Sun held on for the win thanks to some key plays from Jonquel Jones and Courtney Williams. With just over two minutes remaining, and the Sun clinging to a two-point lead, Jones came up with a huge rejection on Wilson. Down on the other end of the floor, she threaded the needle with a bounce pass to Morgan Tuck on a backdoor cut for a bucket to put the Sun up by four.
A few possessions later, with their lead back down to two points, Williams hit a pull-up jumper with 10.2 seconds remaining to seal the Sun's win.
Jones finished the game with just seven points, but added nine rebounds, five assists and six blocks in a strong all-around performance. Williams, meanwhile, went for 24 points to continue her strong run.
With the win -- their fourth in a row -- the Sun moved to 20-8 on the season, 14-1 at home. and opened up a 1 1/2 game lead on the Aces. Plus, thanks to the Mystics' loss to the Sky later in the night, the Sun are now tied for first place.
In addition, the win was crucial because it gave the Sun the season series over the Aces, which means they own the tiebreaker if the two teams end up with the same record at the end of the regular season. There's a very real possibility that earning a top-two seed could come down to that tiebreaker.
The WNBA postseason continues on Sunday with two Game 3s in the semifinal round
The postseason action continues on Sunday with Game 3 of each semifinal series
Delle Donne led the Mystics to the best record in the WNBA, and became the first member of...
Mitchell also won the award in 2010 with the New York Liberty
Reeve, who is also the Lynx's head coach, has won EOY for the first time in her career
Oregon guard Sabrina Ionescu is expected to be the top pick next spring