The Connecticut Sun came into Thursday’s matchup with the Los Angeles Sparks looking to continue their winning ways.
Yes, the Sun were in search of their second consecutive win, but they had a more impressive streak to continue. Connecticut entered Thursday looking for its 10th straight regular season home win, dating back to July 20, 2018.
The Sun extended the streak with a total team effort, defeating the Sparks 89-77 thanks to some strong defense. Connecticut collected 13 assists and 11 blocks in the win, while forcing 21 turnovers.
Connecticut was led by Jonquel Jones, who finished with 18 points and eight rebounds on 7-of-11 shooting. Jasmine Thomas (17), Courtney Williams (15), Alyssa Thomas (11) and Shekinna Stricklen (10) all scored in double-figures.
Nneka Ogwumike had 21 points and 10 rebounds on 8-of-11 shooting to lead the Sparks. Her sister, Chiney Ogwumike, finished with 19 points on 9-of-11 shooting.
The Sun improved to 4-1 with the win, while the Sparks fell to 2-2.
Here’s how it all went down:
PG: Jasmine Thomas
SG: Courtney Williams
SF: Shekinna Stricklen
PF: Alyssa Thomas
C: Jonquel Jones
GET OUT AND RUN
The Sun struggled to get a transition game going in their first four games, but that wasn’t the case Thursday at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Thomas helped the Sun get out on multiple fast breaks with her active hands, racking up four first-quarter steals to go along with six points. She was thriving in half-court sets as well, using her quickness to get to the rim.
Williams led the Sun with eight first-quarter points. The Sun led 23-11 after one thanks to their fast-paced offense.
NO LET UP
The Sparks began chipping away at the deficit, but Connecticut immediately used its defense to create offense once again, jumping out to a 6-0 run to push the lead back to 13.
The defense-to-offensive theme would not stop there, with Williams and Thomas taking charge.
Connecticut finished the first half with seven steals and six blocks, while forcing 10 Los Angeles turnovers. The Sun also showed great ball movement across the first half, assisting on 10 of their first 16 buckets.
Williams led all scorers with 12 first-half points, as Connecticut went into the break with a 43-32 lead.
DOING IT ALL
The ball movement didn’t stop after halftime, in fact, it arguably improved.
Here’s a prime example:
The defense definitely didn’t stop either. Jones had herself a mid-quarter block party against both Ogwumike sisters.
Check it out:
Connecticut’s perimeter defense continued to stifle Los Angeles’ 3-point shooting, which was a non-factor once again in the third.
FINISH THE JOB
With 8:04 remaining in the game, all 10 Sun players to hit the floor had scored at least one point.
This remained the case even when the Sparks pushed back, cutting the deficit to single-digits with just under three minutes remaining. LA kept coming, making this a four-point game with 1:16 left thanks to some costly Connecticut turnovers.
Keeping their composure, the Sun managed to hold on, putting up a defensive wall in the final minute. They ultimately would finish with 25 points off turnovers in the win.
PLAY OF THE GAME
What a move from Jones.
The Sun look to improve to 5-1 on Sunday when they head south to take on the Atlanta Dream.
Thumbnail photo via Chris Poss/Connecticut Sun