Welcome to the WNBA semifinals.
Is your blood pumping yet? Well, it should be after Game 1 of the Sun-Sparks series Tuesday night.
Connecticut eked out a victory in the first game of the best-of-five set, topping Los Angeles 84-75 at Mohegan Sun Arena. It was a back-and-forth battle for most of the evening which culminated in the Sun’s first win of the postseason.
The Sun now own a 1-0 series lead heading into Game 2.
Here’s how it all went down:
PG: Courtney Williams
SG: Jasmine Thomas
SF: Shekinna Stricklen
PF: Alyssa Thomas
C: Jonquel Jones
ANOTHER BLAZING START
Stop us if you’ve heard this before: the Sun started off hot Tuesday night.
Alyssa Thomas notched Connecticut’s first nine points of the game all on her own, giving the Sun a 9-7 lead nearly six minutes into the game.
Jasmine Thomas netted six points of her own for the Sun in the first.
Connecticut clung to a tight lead through most of the first. But Los Angeles made sure to remain within striking distance.
The Sun ended the first on a dime from Jasmine Thomas at the buzzer, taking a 21-14 lead into the second.
Alyssa Thomas paced all scorers with a whopping 13 points through 10 minutes of play.
LA FINDS SPARK
The Sparks wouldn’t go away quietly in the second.
Connecticut took a 10-point lead early in the second, but it wouldn’t last long. Former Sun forward Chiney Ogwumike contributed to the Sparks’ cause, helping bring Los Angeles within four.
Bria Holmes and Courtney Williams gave the Sun a quick boost thanks to a pair of buckets halfway through the second.
The two squads traded buckets midway as Los Angeles clawed its way back into the game in the middle of the second. Los Angeles finally regained the lead and managed to hang on for the remainder of the quarter.
And just like that, the Sparks were up 40-37 — but it only was halftime.
It looked like anyone’s game come the second half.
Connecticut kicked off the third quarter with a quick 11-2 run thanks in part to a couple of Shekinna Stricklen 3’s.
After Connecticut managed to take a seven-point lead, Los Angeles came right back with six points of its own to make it a one-point game.
Jonquel Jones quickly gave the Sun two back.
The Sparks and Sun traded leads once again through the finals moments of the third quarter, but it was Connecticut that would end the quarter on top with a last-second Sun bucket to make it 59-58 heading into the final 10 minutes.
It was an all-out battle in the fourth quarter, and the Sun emerged victorious.
Holmes and Jones got things started early for Connecticut with a couple quick buckets.
But it didn’t take long for the Sparks to knot things at 64.
Connecticut wasted no time getting four back, but a Chelsea Gray jumper, however, brought Los Angeles back within two.
The Sun bounced right back with another quick five-point run.
It was all Connecticut the rest of the time as the Sun built themselves a healthy eight-point lead in the final moments of the game.
The Sun wrapped up the Game 1 victory 84-75. Alyssa Thomas led Connecticut with 22 points.
PLAY OF THE GAME
You simply can’t let the Walking Bucket get to her sweet spot.
Connecticut tries to extend its series lead Thursday in Game 2 of the best-of-five series between the Sun and Sparks at Mohegan Sun Arena. Tip-off is slated for 6:30 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Photo Credit: Chris Poss