The Connecticut Sun took care of business at home in a big way.
Connecticut defeated the Los Angeles Sparks 94-68 in Game 2 of the WNBA Semifinals on Thursday to take a commanding 2-0 series lead. The 26-point win marks the largest margin of victory in a playoff game in franchise history.
The Sun’s impressive onslaught was led by Jonquel Jones (27 points, 13 rebounds), Courtney Williams (25 points, six assists, six rebounds), Alyssa Thomas (12 points, 13 rebounds, four assists) and Rachel Banham (11 points). Connecticut out-rebounded Los Angeles 46 to 24 en route to its Game 2 win.
Nneka Ogwumike (18 points), Riquna Williams (14), Chelsea Gray (10) and Chiney Ogwumike (10) all scored in double figures for the Sparks.
The Sun now own a 2-0 series lead heading into Game 3 of the best-of-five series.
Here’s how it all went down:
PG: Courtney Williams
SG: Jasmine Thomas
SF: Shekinna Stricklen
PF: Alyssa Thomas
C: Jonquel Jones
SPARKS START STRONG
Los Angeles got out to a 12-4 lead early in the first quarter, which was a bigger lead than it had at any point in Game 1. The Sparks’ energy level was much better in the early going thanks to Williams, who had seven points on 3-of-5 shooting in the game’s first five minutes. Ogwumike also was impressive inside from the jump.
The Sun pushed back with a 9-0 run of their own to make it a one-point game with just over two minutes left in the quarter.
Los Angeles led 22-15 after one, with Ogwumike posting nine first-quarter points to head the scoring.
CT PUSHES BACK
The Sparks’ energy remained in the second frame, as they held Connecticut without a bucket for the first five-plus minutes of the quarter.
But thanks to some stifling defense of their own, the Sun managed to stay within striking distance. They’d ultimately push back to tie the game with four minutes left in the quarter, creating a back-and-forth race to halftime.
Jones naturally was at the heart of Connecticut’s run, dominating the interior as she did all season long. Her work on the glass was the second-quarter difference for the Sun.
Williams made sure him impact was felt as well. She brought the Sun within one with just under 90 seconds to go thanks to her own individual 6-0 run. Less than a minute later, Jones would give Connecticut the lead.
The Sun collected 29 first-half rebounds, which was a WNBA record for the most boards in any postseason half in league history.
Alyssa Thomas led the way with 10 rebounds, while Jones collected eight of her own. Jones had a game-high 15 first-half points at the break. Williams’ impressive second quarter gave her 10 points at halftime.
WILLIAMS GETS HOT
It was the Courtney Williams show in the third, as Connecticut’s point guard picked up right where she left off from deep.
Jones hit the 20-point mark, her career postseason high, mid-way through the quarter, as Connecticut continued to extend its lead.
The Sun ultimately outscored the Sparks by 12 in the third quarter behind 13 points from Williams. She had a game-high 23 points heading into the final frame.
SUN FINISH THE JOB
Connecticut pulled out to a commanding 23-point lead halfway through the fourth quarter thanks to its relentless defense. Active hands on the defensive end turned into buckets for the Sun at the other end.
With 5:20 left, the Sun had forced 11 Los Angeles turnovers. But it Connecticut was clicking on all cylinders on the offensive end as well.
The Sparks emptied the bench with five minutes to go, essentially waving the white flag in this one.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Connecticut heads to Los Angeles for Game 3 of the series, where it’ll look to clinch a spot in the WNBA Finals. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET Sunday.
Thumbnail photo via Connecticut Sun