Sun Season Ends With Single-Elimination Playoff Loss to Mercury

Uncasville —  Alyssa Thomas had 20 points and 10 rebounds while Jonquel Jones had 19 points and 15 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough as the Phoenix Mercury ended the Connecticut Sun’s best season since 2012, rallying for an 88-83 win in the second round of the WNBA Playoffs on Sunday afternoon at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Jones and Thomas became the sixth and seventh players in Sun history to post double-doubles in a playoff game. Jasmine Thomas had 15 points, four rebounds and three assists while Courtney Williams finished with 10 points and six assists.

But the Phoenix tandem of Brittney Griner (26 points, nine rebounds) and Diana Taurasi (23 points) helped the fifth-seeded Mercury pull out a close win.

Seeded fourth after a 21-13 regular season, Connecticut earned a first-round bye and jumped out to a 17-point lead on two different occasions in the second quarter. But Phoenix managed to cut the deficit to 50-43 at the half.

Jones set a franchise record for rebounds in one half of a playoff game, collecting 12 while also scoring 11 points. The old record of 10 rebounds in a half was held by both Tina Charles and Taj McWilliams-Franklin.

The Sun built its lead back to 11 at 57-46 with 8:47 left in the third quarter. But the Mercury rallied again, outscoring the Sun 22-11 over the last nine minutes of the quarter.

The fourth quarter featured four ties and five lead changes before three-pointers by Leilani Mitchell, Taurasi and Monique Currie gave Phoenix an 84-79 lead with 2:31 left.

Connecticut did not get closer than three the rest of the way.