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    Friday, December 02, 2022

    Sun wrap up No. 3 seed with 93-69 victory over Los Angeles

    Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike, left, and Connecticut Sun center Brionna Jones go after a rebound during the first half of Thursday night’s WNBA game in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
    Los Angeles Sparks forward Katie Lou Samuelson, right drives past Connecticut Sun guard Courtney Williams during the first half of Thursday’s WNBA game Thursday in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Los Angeles — The Connecticut Sun completed their final road trip of the WNBA regular season in impressive fashion.

    Two days after routing the Los Angeles Sparks 97-71 at Crypto.com Arena, the Sun returned the the scene of the crime on Thursday night and dominated again, eliminating Los Angeles from the postseason with an easy 93-69 victory.

    The Sun (24-11), regardless of the outcome of Sunday’s season finale against the Minnesota Lynx at Mohegan Sun Arena (1 p.m.), will be the No. 3 seed in the opening round of the WNBA playoffs and will play the No. 6 Dallas Wings in a best-of-three series, most likely starting next Thursday at the Sun.

    The Wings (17-17) are locked into the sixth spot regardless of how they fare in their last two games.

    Las Vegas and Chicago will be the Nos. 1 and 2 seeds. Vegas (25-10) put itself in position to win the top overall seed with an 89-78 victory over the Chicago Sky (also 25-10) earlier Thursday night.

    The victory allowed the Aces to win the season series 2-1, which will be the tiebreaker should the two finished tied. Vegas finishes the regular season on Sunday at home against Seattle while the Sky visit Phoenix.

    The Sun, meanwhile, boarded their flight back to the East Coast feeling satisfied and confident with the postseason on the horizon.

    Connecticut, which led by 11 points at the break, put the game out of reach in the third quarter when they shot 62.5% (10-for-16) from the floor while outscoring Los Angeles 28-14 to extend its lead to 82-57 after three.

    Jonquel Jones, who had a quiet first half with five points, scored 11 in that quarter while guard Natisha Hiedeman, who was held scoreless in the first half, hit back-to-back 3-pointers for her first points of the night to cap a 9-0 run that pushed the Sun lead to 72-49.

    Alyssa Thomas led another balanced Sun attack with 18 points and nine rebounds while Jones finished with 17 points and eight rebounds, Brionna Jones had 16 points and eight rebounds, and DeWanna Bonner added 13 points and seven assists.

    Jonquel Jones also had three blocks to set the franchise career record (268) previously held by Taj McWilliams-Franklin.

    Brittney Sykes led the Sparks (13-22) with 18 points and Nneka Ogwumike added 10.

    In the first half, Connecticut held a 25-20 lead after one quarter and 54-43 at the break, getting a big spark from Brionna Jones, who scored all 12 of her first-half points in the second quarter when the Sun outscored the Sparks 29-23.

    Bonner and Thomas scored 13 points apiece in the opening 20 minutes for the Sun, who shot 51.2% from the floor, held a 19-14 rebounding edge and turned the ball over just five times.

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