The Connecticut Sun on Thursday got off to a hot start, but the Las Vegas Aces took the lead early in the second quarter and never looked back until closing out the game 99-78.
Turnovers, foul trouble and lack offensive boards plagued the Sun as they couldn’t climb back into it after a second quarter where they were outscored 28-15.
Kayla McBride was on fire for the Aces, shooting 9-for-10 from the field for a game-high 25 points, and A’ja Wilson added 21.
Alyssa Thomas and Briann January each dropped 15 for the Sun, with Thomas recording seven assists and seven boards as well. DeWanna Bonner had 10 points.
With the win, the Las Vegas improves to 9-3 on their season while Connecticut falls to 5-8.
Here’s how it all went down:
PG: Jasmine Thomas
SG: Briann January
PF: Alyssa Thomas
SF: DeWanna Bonner
C: Brionna Jones
GAME IN A WORD (OR THREE)
Scary second quarter.
If the Sun could go back to this frame, where four starters got into foul trouble and they struggled with turnovers, things might have been different.
FOUL TROUBLE EARLY
The Sun fell to an early 5-0 deficit, but scored 13 unanswered points to take a lead thanks to two consecutive and-ones from Bonner. In the process, she became 20th in the WNBA for all-time scoring.
And in just 10 minutes played during the opening quarter, January dropped 11 on the Aces, shooting 4-for-6 from the field including a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc.
The Sun led by as many as eight points twice in the first quarter, but Thomas picked up two early fouls that sent her to the sideline the last few minutes of the quarter.
And in that time, Las Vegas made up some ground behind a perfect 3-for-3 shooting performance from McBride, along with two made free throws and this gorgeous step-back.
Still, the Sun managed a narrow 27-25 lead at the end of the opening frame.
BALL SECURITY IS JOB SECURITY
The Ace’s run continued into the second, as McBride pulled up for a jumper assisted by Wilson to tie the game, and it went back-and-forth for two possessions before Vegas got momentum from a huge 3-pointer from Angel McCoughtry.
The Aces extended their lead to as many as 12 points, but the Sun didn’t let them run away with it completely, with Essence Carson hitting a big triple to cut the deficit to nine points.
Unfortunately, the Sun kept giving the Aces easy baskets, sending them to the free throw line 12 times for 10 points compared to the Sun going to the line just twice.
Brionna Jones and Kaila Charles racked up three fouls in the first half, with Thomas and Briann January being called for two apiece. And not to mention, Connecticut turned the ball over 11 times in the first half.
And when McBride is hot, that can’t happen. The guard dropped a game-high 17 points in the first half with three steals.
Wilson supported with 14 points and Vegas shot a collective 60 percent from the field. Connecticut, meanwhile, shot a respectable 51.4 percent.
The Aces led 53-42 at the half.
McDUO HELP CREATE SEPARATION
Behind McBride and McCoughtry, Vegas extended its lead to a many as 19 points.
Two late-quarter timeouts didn’t seem to give the Sun the spark they needed, being outscored 23-18 in the third.
The Sun trailed 76-60 by the end of the third.
NO CLIMBING OUT OF THIS ONE
Natisha Hiedeman came off the bench in the fourth and contributed two big 3-pointers within a minute of each other to give Connecticut some life, and after a Vegas turnover three minutes later, the Aces called a timeout.
Thanks to a nice effort from Bria Holmes, the Sun and Aces seemed to matched each other shooting all quarter, but the hole was too big for Connecticut to pull itself out of.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Connecticut takes on the New York Liberty on Saturday. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.