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Elena Delle Donne helps Mystics knock off Sun

Oct 10, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne (11) reacts against the Connecticut Sun during the fourth quarter in game five of the 2019 WNBA Finals at Entertainment and Sports Ar. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Elena Delle Donne scored 15 points and the Washington Mystics knocked off the visiting Connecticut Sun 71-63 in a matchup of two of the Eastern Conference’s top teams Sunday afternoon.

Delle Donne, who had missed all or most of four of Washington’s previous five games because of an ailing back and the quest to limit her playing time to keep her fresh for later in the season, shot 6-for-12 from the field in 31 minutes. She also grabbed six rebounds.

Ariel Atkins had 12 points and Alysha Clark and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough both scored 10 points for the Mystics (11-7), who won for the fourth time in their last six games.

Jonquel Jones had 15 points and a season-best 16 rebounds for the Sun (12-5), which seemed to have a letdown after Friday night’s home victory against the Seattle Storm.

Connecticut trailed by 68-49 with less than 4 1/2 minutes to play before a brief rally drew them within 70-61 with 1:39 to play on Nia Clouden’s 3-pointer.

Shakira Austin made a free throw to cap Washington’s next possession and Connecticut then lost the ball on a turnover, thwarting the rally.

Despite a late surge of clutch shooting, the Sun shot just 36.7 percent from the field for the game. DeWanna Bonner, Brionna Jones and Natisha Hiedeman all finished with eight points apiece for the Sun.

Connecticut failed to take full advantage of a 43-30 rebounding edge, a margin boosted by Jonquel Jones. The Sun was hurt by 17 turnovers compared to Washington’s 10 giveaways.

The Mystics led 43-27 at halftime and stretched the margin to 61-41 after three quarters. Delle Donne had seven points in the first quarter, which ended with Washington holding a 29-17 lead.

The Sun shot 6-for-19 on 3s, though Jones missed all three of her attempts. For the Mystics, Clark and Atkins both bagged two 3s as the team also shot 6-for-19 from long range.

Both teams received 21 points from their reserves.

–Field Level Media