Storm roll past the Sun
Mohegan — It was during the Connecticut Sun's recent west coast road trip that the team resembled the look of at least an early contender in the WNBA, losing only to Seattle in overtime on the trip's final day.
Common sense might have suggested that Sunday's matinee at Mohegan Sun Arena would have qualified among the season's most anticipated games, given that the Sun (8-3) and Storm (10-2) sit high in the standings.
Reality, however, was a bit more cruel for Connecticut.
The Sun played the anticipated game without center — and best player — Jonquel Jones, who has left the team for a bit to play for Bosnia and Herzegovina in the FIBA Women's Eurobasket Tournament. Connecticut couldn't cope well and lost to Seattle, 89-66.
It was a happy homecoming for former UConn greats Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird, who combined for 35 of Seattle's points. The Storm also capitalized on Connecticut's 18 turnovers, making this the last day the Sun would ever want to play without their best player. Jones averaged 21.6 points and 10.4 rebounds over the first 10 games of the season, the only WNBA player currently averaging a double-double.
"They set the tone in the first quarter," Sun coach Curt Miller said. "You've really got to pick your poison against them because they're the best running team (in the league)."
Sun forward DeWanna Bonner, battling back trouble, finished with 14 points, but sat most of the fourth period with the game well out of reach.
"It's going to be a collective thing with Jonquel out," Sun forward Brionna Jones said.
Jones had 12 and Kaila Charles 14 for Connecticut. The 14 points for Charles were a season high.
Seattle used a 14-2 second quarter run to take a 43-24 lead with 2:33 left in the first half. The Sun managed to score the final five points of the half and trailed 43-29 at the break. Seattle led by no fewer than 14 in the second half.
The Sun, who hadn't played in a week, will have the next few days off before playing consecutive games in Chicago against the Sky at Wintrust Arena. The Sun will play at 8 p.m. Thursday and 2 p.m. Saturday before returning home next week to play Dallas.
The Sun will play through July 11 before a month-long Olympic break leaves them idle until Aug. 15.
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The Connecticut Sun's Briann January and Jonquel Jones both earned WNBA All-Defensive First Team honors while Brionna Jones and Jasmine Thomas both made second team.