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    CT Sun
    Wednesday, December 07, 2022

    Sun scorch Dream, 105-92

    Connecticut Sun guard Nia Clouden (11) puts up a basket from under Atlanta Dream’s Asia Durr during a WNBA game on Wednesday at Mohegan Sun Arena. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Mohegan — The Connecticut Sun’s Brionna Jones was falling out of bounds, trying to grab a loose ball with under a minute left in Wednesday night’s game, and fired it back inbounds, hoping it would bounce off of an Atlanta Dream player.

    The ball instead ricocheted off Connecticut rookie Nia Clouden, who was lying on the ground, and out-of-bounds, causing Jones and the Sun bench to burst out in laughter.

    It was one of many laughs Connecticut enjoyed against the Atlanta Dream. It set season highs for points in a half during the first 20 minutes and finished with its most of points of the season against the WNBA’s best defensive team in a 105-92 win that wasn’t even that close before 4,014 at Mohegan Sun Arena.

    “They went under screens (defensively),” Sun guard Courtney Williams said about Atlanta. “We’re shooters, so (when) we knock down that first shot and you’re going to continue to go under screens and not change that game plan, I think we started taking that personally.”

    Williams had 20 points and eight rebounds for the Sun (11-4) while Jonquel Jones had 15 points and nine rebounds. Natisha Hiedeman added 18 points, Brionna Jones had 12 points and six rebounds and DiJonai Carrington scored 11.

    It was the third straight loss for the Dream (7-7). Asia Durr had 21 points and four rebounds and Rhyne Howard, the first pick in April’s draft, added 14 points, five rebounds and three steals.

    Atlanta began the night as the league’s only team holding opponents under 40-percent shooting from the floor (38.6).

    Connecticut shot 55-percent in the first half and led, 58-41. It made an absurd 10 of 15 threes in that half.

    The Sun finished shooting 51.9-percent, including 53.8-percent (14 of 26) from behind the arc.

    “A 58-point first half really set the tone throughout the night,” Sun head coach Curt Miller said. “We shot it tremendously well. I get a bit little antsy when our percentage of attempts from the 3-point line creeps up there in our overall attempts, but we had such a good shooting night that we didn’t pound the ball in the paint as much, or the ball was in the paint, and they made good reads getting it out.”

    Pick a season high and the Sun set it against the Dream, such as 40 field goals, 30 assists and 14 threes.

    Connecticut was also able to rest its starters for the entire fourth quarter.

    Reserve Joyner Holmes had a steal under the Dream basket and laid the ball in to give Connecticut a 36-26 lead with 8 minutes, 35 seconds left in the first half. It led by double digits the rest of the game.

    Hiedeman’s three gave the Sun their largest lead (77-48) with 3:38 left in the third.

    Sun sign Jones

    Connecticut announced Wednesday morning that it has signed guard Jazmine Jones.

    No details were released per team policy.

    Jones, 6-foot, was selected 12th overall pick (first round) by the New York Liberty in the 2020 WNBA Draft and was selected to the WNBA, ESPN and Associated Press All-Rookie Teams. She played 47 games over two seasons with New York and averaged 18.6 minutes, 8 points and 3.1 rebounds. She has also shot 38.1-percent.

    Jones was claimed off waivers by the Indiana Fever during the 2022 offseason but was waived in April. The Sun waived reserve guard Yvonne Anderson on Saturday to make room for her.

    Jones played 12 minutes in the second half Wednesday.

    Miller said he’s liked what he’s seen from using forward Alyssa Thomas at the point when he wants to use the team’s big lineup and that she and Hiedeman would be playing the most minutes at the point, leaving few minutes for a third point guard.

    “We need to look at (rookie) Nia Clouden as a point guard in this league,” Miller said. “(With) Yvonne we never looked and gave an opportunity to Nia Clouden to be at the point.

    “There’s people that were not getting enough shots already. We didn’t need to bring in someone else that commanded shots. We wanted to bring in an energy person, someone that was versatile, someone that could defend and brought a physicality to it. And Jazmine fit and checked a lot of the boxes that we’re looking for.”

    n.griffen@theday.com

    Connecticut Sun forward DiJonai Carrington (21) and Connecticut Sun forward Joyner Holmes (8) react to a basket during a WNBA game against the Atlanta Dream on Wednesday at Mohegan Sun Arena. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Connecticut Sun forward Jonquel Jones (35) puts up a basket over Atlanta Dream guard Kristy Wallace (3) and forward Cheyenne Parker (32) during a WNBA game on Wednesday at Mohegan Sun Arena. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Connecticut Sun guard Natisha Hiedeman reacts to a basket during a WNBA game against the Atlanta Dream on Wednesday at Mohegan Sun Arena. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Connecticut Sun forward Jonquel Jones (35) and guard Courtney Williams (10) react to a call from the bench during a WNBA game against the Atlanta Dream on Wednesday at Mohegan Sun Arena. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Connecticut Sun forward Jonquel Jones (35) attempts a shot from under Atlanta Dream forward Monique Billings (25) during a WNBA game on Wednesday at Mohegan Sun Arena. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Atlanta Dream guard Aari McDonald (2) is fouled by Connecticut Sun guard Nia Clouden (11) at the basket during a WNBA game on Wednesday at Mohegan Sun Arena. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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