Sun becoming road warriors

Connecticut Sun forward Asjha Jones reacts after scoring a basket against the Minnesota Lynx during the first half of a WNBA game Saturday in Minneapolis. Jones finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds, as the Sun beat the defending league champions 86-80.
Connecticut Sun forward Asjha Jones reacts after scoring a basket against the Minnesota Lynx during the first half of a WNBA game Saturday in Minneapolis. Jones finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds, as the Sun beat the defending league champions 86-80. Genevieve Ross/AP Photo

Minneapolis - Kara Lawson scored 22 points and the Connecticut Sun held on to beat the Minnesota Lynx 86-80 on Saturday in a matchup of conference leaders.

Tina Charles had 19 points and 15 rebounds for the Sun (12-4). Asjha Jones also had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. It was the first time in franchise history that three players recorded double-doubles in the same game.

The Sun have already matched last season's total for road wins (6).

Maya Moore led defending WNBA champ Minnesota with 19 points while Taj McWilliams-Franklin had 15 for the Lynx (13-4), who have lost three straight for the first time since July 17-29, 2010. The defeat, in a game played before 10,882 fans at the Target Center, was Minnesota's first in nine home games this season.

"That game had a little bit of everything," Sun coach Mike Thibault said. "Beating them on their court with that big of a crowd is huge for us.

"For us, it's another road win. A year ago, we were a really sorry road team. This year we have one road loss. That, I think, is a sign of maturity."

The Sun led 74-54 with 7:10 to play, but Minnesota made five 3-pointers - two each by Moore and Candice Wiggins - during a 20-4 run that got the Lynx within 78-74 with 2:23 to play. McWilliams-Franklin scored the other eight points.

But Moore missed a 3-pointer and McWilliams-Franklin committed an offensive foul before the Sun made seven of eight free throws in the final 32 seconds to secure the win.

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Lawson and driving layups by Allison Hightower and Kalana Greene gave the Sun a 51-40 lead early in the second half.

A jumper by Monica Wright and 3-point play by Moore got Minnesota within seven midway through the third quarter, but Connecticut finished on a 13-4 run for a 70-54 lead. Charles had six points during the run; Renee Montgomery four.

Jones scored eight points as Connecticut opened a 10-point lead late in the first quarter, but Moore hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer and Augustus scored six points as part of a 17-4 run to put the Lynx up 30-27 midway through the second. The Sun led 41-38 at halftime.

Minnesota forward Devereaux Peters missed the game with a broken left hand. The team's top draft pick in 2012 (third overall) is averaging 5.4 points per game.

"I guess it's always big," said the Sun's Lawson, a guard, of her contribution to the team's rebounding totals. "Tina and Asjha always do a really good job for us. When you play good teams, not matter who it is, you want to get rebounds."

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