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No rest for the weary as Sun start second half of abbreviated WNBA season

Self-care is important, especially when you're playing a game every other day as WNBA players are during this abbreviated season.

"I actually took a bubble and Epsom salt bath the other night and did a detoxing clay mask, so I'm self-caring all the way," Connecticut Sun reserve Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis said. "Everybody is doing some type of recovery. .... Someone is always (using a) Normatec (Recovery) Boot to get the lactic acid out of their legs. So, honestly, we're all doing a whole bunch of things to try to recover our bodies, our minds, any way that we can."

Connecticut has reached the halfway point of its 22-game schedule. It plays the Indiana Fever on Tuesday night at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. (NESN Plus, 7).

All WNBA teams will play 22 games in under 50 days. It's given teams little time to rest and required them to forgo practicing.

The Sun played their first 11 games in 21 days. They'll play their final 11 in 24 days.

"There's definitely a lot more wear and tear on peoples' bodies this (season)," Mosqueda-Lewis said. "I've never seen so many (walking) boots in one area in my life. You see a couple of people in walking boots every single day. You might see a couple of people on crutches. ... The schedule is not ideal for the level of basketball that we play every single day."

Connecticut (4-7) has won four of its last six games after a franchise worst 0-5 start and moved into eighth place in the overall standings. The top eight teams overall make the playoffs.

Indiana (4-6) is in seventh place.

The Sun have gradually developed chemistry with three new starters and six new players on their 12-woman roster, including two rookies. They've also had four players either miss games or training camp to injuries or COVID-19.

The players' comfort level with one another has helped raise Connecticut's field goal percentage (it was shooting under 40% over the first five games). It's eighth in field goal percentage (42%) and compensated by leading the league in second-chance points (13.2).

"Rebounding sometimes is a fuzzy math kind of number in women's basketball," Sun head coach Curt Miller said. "One of the reasons we're so high in second-chance points or rebounding, offensive rebounding, is we're missing shots.

"If we made more shots like Seattle, I wouldn't mind that (second-chance points) number being lower. ... We've got to get second-chance opportunities."

• Connecticut claimed 12-year veteran guard Essence Carson on Monday and waived Jacki Gemelos. Carson was recently waived by the Washington Mystics and averaged 16.8 minutes and 4.3 points in 10 games with them. She was drafted seventh overall in 2008 by the New York Liberty and played with the Phoenix Mercury last season with current Sun players DeWanna Bonner and Briann January. Gemelos played in six games after being out of the league for five seasons. ... Bonner was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week as voted on by league coaches. She averaged 15.5 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2.3 steals over four games. .... The Sun will support the Kay Yow Cancer Fund by hosting a virtual 5K walk from Monday to Aug. 28. Fans are encouraged to sign up and participate in their own, socially-distanced 5k and then share pictures of their participation via their social media channels. One hundred percent of the $20 registration fee will benefit the Fund. To register for the race or to donate, visit https://bit.ly/KayYowVirtual5k.

n.griffen@theday.com

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