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Sun stave off Lynx to complete back-to-back sweep

Sportsnaut
May 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; A general view of the game ball during the preseason WNBA game between the New York Liberty and the China National Team at Barclays Center.  Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Natisha Hiedeman made five 3-pointers and scored 19 points and Brionna Jones recorded 18 points and eight rebounds to help the Connecticut Sun post an 86-79 victory over the Minnesota Lynx on Sunday night at Minneapolis.

Alyssa Thomas added 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists as the Sun (19-9) won for the fifth time in the past six games. Thomas registered her first career triple-double on Friday when Connecticut beat Minnesota 94-84 in the first game of the back-to-back set.

Aerial Powers scored 17 points and Nikolina Milic added 14 for the Lynx (10-19), who have dropped four of their past five games. Rachel Banham tallied 11 points for Minnesota.

Reigning WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones contributed eight points and four rebounds in 14 1/2 minutes for the Sun after missing the previous three games due to COVID-19 protocol.

Courtney Williams added 12 points for Connecticut, which made 46.3 percent of its field-goal attempts, including 8 of 20 from 3-point range. DeWanna Bonner had five of the Sun’s 10 steals.

The Lynx shot 42.9 percent from the floor and were 6 of 13 from behind the arc.

Powers drained a 3-pointer with 41.6 seconds left to bring Minnesota within 84-79. Hiedeman made two free throws with 38.1 seconds left as Connecticut closed it out.

Earlier, Bonner and Thomas scored baskets in quick succession to give the Sun a 66-55 lead with 8:48 left in the contest.

Banham’s 3-pointer pulled Minnesota within 71-64 with 5:03 left. But Thomas and Brionna Jones responded with consecutive hoops and Bonner tacked on two free throws to push the Connecticut lead to 13 with 3:47 to play.

Banham and Bridget Carleton made treys to pull the Lynx within 79-72 with 2:16 to go. But Hiedeman answered with a 3-pointer to give the Sun a 10-point advantage with 1:48 left.

Lindsay Allen scored four straight points as Minnesota crept within 82-76 with 57.3 seconds to go.

Brionna Jones had 11 first-half points as the Sun led 42-32 at the break.

The Lynx used a 10-0 surge early in the third quarter to cut their deficit to 43-42 with 6:24 left. Minnesota grabbed a brief 47-46 lead when Moriah Jefferson split two free throws with 4:40 remaining.

Connecticut led 59-53 entering the final stanza.

–Field Level Media