Preview: Connecticut Sun vs. Phoenix Mercury, 2017 WNBA Playoffs, Second Round

Second Round
No. 4 Connecticut Sun vs. No. 5 Phoenix Mercury 
Mohegan Sun Arena
Sunday, September 10th, 3:00 p.m. ET
Watch Live on ESPN 2
Get Tickets

Last Game: The Connecticut Sun fell 81-70 to the Los Angeles Sparks on Sunday, September 3rd to close out the regular season. The Phoenix Mercury won 79-69 over the Seattle Storm at Wells Fargo Arena on Wednesday, September 6th in the first round of the WNBA Playoffs.

Players to Watch: Connecticut – Jonquel Jones led Connecticut this season in both scoring (15.4 ppg) and rebounding (11.9 rpg). She finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and an assist in last Sunday’s loss to Los Angeles…Alyssa Thomas led the Sun in assists (4.5 apg) and was second in scoring (14.8 ppg) and rebounding (6.8 rpg). She had nine points, seven rebounds and a steal against the Sparks…Jasmine Thomas ranked second on the team in assists (4.3 apg) and third in scoring (14.2 ppg). She added 10 points, three rebounds and four assists in the game.

Phoenix – Brittney Griner led Phoenix this season in scoring (21.9 ppg) and rebounding (7.6 rpg). She led the team with 23 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and three blocks in Wednesday’s win over Seattle…Diana Taurasi ranked second on the Mercury in scoring (17.9 ppg) and third in assists (2.7 apg). She posted 14 points, three rebounds and three assists against the Storm…Leilani Mitchell led the team in assists (3.6 apg) and added 17 points, four rebounds and three assists in the game.

• Sunday’s game will mark the first time Connecticut and Phoenix have ever met in the playoffs.
• Connecticut was 2-1 against the Mercury this season.
• Jones (14.7 ppg, 10.7 rpg), Alyssa Thomas (18.0 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 3.3 apg) and Jasmine Thomas (11.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.7 apg) led the Sun in the three games against Phoenix this season.
• Taurasi (18.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.0 apg), Griner (24.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and Mitchell (8.7 ppg, 4.7 apg) were the top performers for the Mercury in the three games against Connecticut.
• The Sun finished the regular season ranked second in scoring average (86.0 points per game).
• With 10 rebounds against the Sparks, Jones broke the WNBA all-time single-season rebound record (403). Tina Charles had set the previous league record in 2010 with 398 rebounds. She also recorded her 20th double-double of the season in the game, which tied for the third most double-doubles in a season in league history.
• Griner led the league this season in scoring (21.9 ppg) and was ninth in rebounding (7.6 rpg). She also holds the WNBA post-season record for most blocks in a single game (11 against Tulsa, 9/17/15).
• Taurasi made a season-high 12 field goals on her way to a team-high 33 points against the Sun on August 4th. She shares the WNBA post-season record for made threes in a single game (seven). Taurasi also ranks second all-time in post-season career points (995) and third in post-season career made field goals (332).
• Mitchell recorded season-highs of eight assists and five made three-pointers against the Sun on August 4th.

Connecticut Sun Head Coach Curt Miller:
On the challenges that playing Phoenix presents
“It’s a very tough matchup. Phoenix made a concerted effort late in the year to play through (Brittney) Griner. She’s a unique player that no one in the league sees, so you have to plan for Brittney Griner. You have to have a contingent plan, and a contingent upon contingent plan when she starts to hurt you. When you have two of the most elite players the game has ever seen in (Diana) Taurasi and (Brittney) Griner, it poses a lot of problems, but they’re not the only players that can hurt you.”

Next Game: The winner will advance to the WNBA Semifinals (best of five series) against either the Los Angeles Sparks or the Minnesota Lynx. Stay up to date on playoff info here.