Sun visit Liberty in New York before going on Olympic break
The Connecticut Sun have qualified for next month’s inaugural Commissioner’s Cup with a chance to earn either $10,000 or $30,000 each, depending on the result.
It gives Sun forward DeWanna Bonner a little more leeway to throw her twin daughters, Cali and Demi, a bigger birthday party later this month if she so chooses.
Bonner and Connecticut have one last thing to take care of before the Olympic break when the Sun play at the New York Liberty on Sunday afternoon at Barclays Center (2 p.m., NESN-Plus, YES).
The WNBA goes on hiatus starting Monday and returns on Sunday, Aug. 15.
It’s the second game of the season between the Sun (13-6) and the Liberty (10-10). Connecticut used its superior size to win at home, 85-64, on June 5.
The Sun outrebounded New York (38-22) in that win. They also had an edge in both second-chance points (22-2) and points in the paint (44-18).
The Liberty play a unique style predicated on stretching defenses out as much as possible and shooting lots of threes. They were second in 3-point attempts (28.1 average) prior to Saturday’s games. They’ve taken almost as many shots from 20-24 feet (391) as they have from less than five feet (397).
“Atlanta has strong guards that are very aggressive in the paint, which is very similar to New York,” Connecticut's Kaila Charles said Saturday. “They’re also fast-paced in terms of just getting the ball in transition and trying to get a lot of early actions. I think we had prep (Friday) with Atlanta.”
The Sun will represent the Eastern Conference at the Commissioner’s Cup on Aug. 12 in Phoenix. It will play the defending WNBA champion Seattle Storm, which clinched the Western Conference berth late Friday night when the Las Vegas Aces lost to the Minnesota Lynx, 85-77.
The Storm would’ve clinched with a win over Phoenix, but the Mercury beat Seattle on Friday night, 85-77.
Seattle has the league’s best record (15-5) and has beaten the Sun in both games this season.
“I’m very excited,” Charles said. “That’s a lot of money to me. To be able to play and either get 10 or 30 (thousand) is a great opportunity and a blessing.”
Moments later, Charles softly sang, “Money, money, money, money” from the O’Jays classic “For the Love of Money.”
The Sun’s front line of Brionna and Jonquel Jones and Bonner won’t go on their respective breaks right away. The trio fly to Las Vegas on Monday and will play in Wednesday's WNBA All-Star 2021. The three were selected to play for Team WNBA which will face the USA National team in an exhibition. Jonquel Jones will also compete in the 3-Point Contest at halftime, the only non-guard among the four participants.
Bonner also has that birthday party to plan, too.
“They’ll have a great birthday party,” Bonner said about her daughters. “This is the first one I get to celebrate, actually, because I’m either at (the) All-Star (Game) or somewhere (playing a) WNBA (game). This is my first one. It’s their fourth birthday and I’m excited to throw them a party.”
Stories that may interest you
Connecticut Sun head coach Curt Miller was named WNBA Coach of the Month for September on Monday, his second monthly honor in a row and the third of his career.