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Alyssa Thomas’ triple-double keeps Sun alive in WNBA Finals

Sep 15, 2022; Uncasville, Connecticut, USA; Connecticut Sun forward Jonquel Jones (35) shoots against Las Vegas Aces forward A'ja Wilson (22) in the first quarter during game three of the 2022 WNBA Finals at Mohegan Sun Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Alyssa Thomas racked up the first triple-double in WNBA Finals history and the Connecticut Sun extended their season by turning back the Las Vegas Aces 105-76 in Game 3 on Thursday night in Uncasville, Conn.

Thomas recorded 16 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists for the Sun, who still trail the best-of-five series 2-1. She had the triple-double with 8:35 remaining.

Game 4 is set for Sunday, also in Connecticut. If a Game 5 is necessary, it would be played Tuesday night in Las Vegas.

The Sun used a torrid stretch early in the game and repelled several rallies from the Aces to take advantage of their home-court setting. Jonquel Jones notched a team-high 20 points.

DeWanna Bonner tallied 18 points, Natisha Hiedeman had 14 points, reserve DiJonai Carrington provided 12 points and Courtney Williams added 11 points for Connecticut, which shot 8-for-15 on 3-point attempts.

The Aces were within 75-69 with a minute to play in the third quarter. The next eight points were posted by the Sun, who stretched their lead to more than 20 points after a similar margin was reduced quickly earlier in the game.

Jackie Young’s 22 points — aided by five 3-pointers — and A’ja Wilson’s 19 points paced Las Vegas. Kelsey Plum added 17 points and Chelsea Gray put up 11 points to go with seven assists.

Connecticut, which was held to 64 and 71 points in the first two games of the series, reached the 71-point mark on Thursday with more than three minutes to play in the third quarter.

All five starters for the Sun held double-figure point totals before the end of three quarters. Connecticut flexed in the paint with a 38-24 rebounding bulge on the night.

The Sun rose quickly after Las Vegas held an early 15-9 lead. Connecticut went on a 15-2 run to go on top by seven.

The margin grew to 34-19 by the end of the first quarter, and the Sun didn’t stop there. Connecticut scored the first seven points of the second quarter, eventually holding a 48-25 edge.

The Aces got it together for an 8-0 spurt in the last 85 seconds of the first half. The surge was capped by Plum’s 3-point runner just a few steps after crossing midcourt, closing the gap to 53-42 at the break.

–Field Level Media