Sun begin hectic stretch at Atlanta on Tuesday; Jones honored

The Connecticut Sun have clinched a berth in the WNBA playoffs.

Now Connecticut is battling for a break.

The top four teams in the WNBA get a first-round bye. The Sun would love to get that bye and the extra rest that comes with it, especially with the hectic stretch they're about to embark on. They'll play five games in 11 days starting Tuesday night against the Atlanta Dream at McCamish Pavilion (CSN, 7).

Connecticut (17-9) is third in the overall standings with the top eight teams qualifying for the postseason, regardless of conference. It has a tenuous one-game lead over the Washington Mystics for first place in the East.

The Sun's 11-day stretch is highlighted by this weekend's home games against the fifth-place New York Liberty (15-12) and sixth-place Phoenix Mercury (14-13). Connecticut has a 2-1 series edge against New York this season and beat the Mercury  in their only meeting (93-92 win on Aug. 4). The Sun would win both season series if they beat both and boost their chances for a first-round bye.

The Dream (10-18) have lost their last seven games and fallen to 10th place overall. Leading scorer Tiffany Hayes (15.9) is listed as day-to-day for Tuesday's game. She crashed into a stanchion during Friday's loss to the New York Liberty and and left the game with a rib contusion. She played just five minutes in Saturday's game.

Connecticut's Jonquel Jones earned her second Eastern Conference Player of the Week honor of this season and her career on Monday. The second-year center averaged 19.5 points, 15 rebounds, four blocks, 3.5 assists and three steals in two wins last week. She was also the Eastern Conference Player of the Month in June.

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