Playing in pain due to a dislocated right shoulder, Alyssa Thomas produced a game-high 23 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Sun to a 77-68 win over the Las Vegas Aces on Thursday night, with Connecticut taking a 2-1 lead in a best-of-five WNBA semifinal series at Bradenton, Fla.
Down seven with 5 1/2 minutes to play, Connecticut went on a 20-4 run to end the game.
Connecticut also got 12 points and 10 rebounds from DeWanna Bonner, who injured her right ankle in the fourth quarter but remained in the game. The Sun also got 10 points and six assists from Jasmine Thomas plus 15 points and 10 rebounds from Brionna Jones.
League MVP A’ja Wilson led Las Vegas with 20 points and 12 rebounds. She had 29 points, seven rebounds and seven blocks in the second game of this series.
The Aces also got 14 points and seven rebounds from Angel McCoughtry and 11 points from Danielle Robinson. Teammate Jackie Young came off the bench to provide eight points and a game-high seven assists.
Las Vegas’ Dearica Hamby, the two-time WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year (2019, 2020), had nine points, six rebounds and five assists despite dealing with an injury to her right leg.
Thomas, who finished third this year in voting for Defensive Player of the Year, dislocated her right shoulder in Tuesday’s game, but she came right back on Thursday, adding four assists to her other stellar totals.
The Sun, despite shooting just 36.4 percent from the floor, led 19-18 after the first quarter. Las Vegas shot 50 percent in the period, which saw seven lead changes and five ties scores.
Connecticut stretched its halftime lead to 38-32 after a second quarter that featured four lead changes and four ties scores.
Wilson led all first-half scorers with 14 points, while Alyssa Thomas had 13 points.
Las Vegas, trailing by eight points early in the third, finished the quarter leading 56-53, but the Sun rallied to win in the fourth.
Connecticut prevailed despite shooting just 1-for-11 for the game on 3-point attempts.
–Field Level Media