WNBA MVP candidate Alyssa Thomas recorded her 25th double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds and led five Connecticut Sun starters scoring in double figures in an 83-68 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks Sunday in Uncasville, Conn.
Thomas also had eight assists and nearly recorded her sixth triple-double of the year and 10th of her career as the Sun (24-11) snapped the six-game winning streak of the Sparks (15-19).
Olivia Nelson-Ododa recorded a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds while Rebecca Allen made three of the Sun’s eight 3-pointers to finish with 14. DeWanna Bonner and Natisha Hiedeman scored 12 apiece. Tiffany Hayes added 11 as Connecticut won its eighth consecutive regular-season game over Los Angeles.
Azura Stevens poured in 17 points for the Sparks, who are in a position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2020. Layshia Clarendon added 13 points and Nneka Ogwumike scored 11.
Connecticut led 53-44 with under seven minutes to go in the third but the Sparks seemed poised to rally after back-to-back 3-pointers from Karlie Samuelson cut the Sun lead to 57-52. Ogwumike then made a layup and a free throw to pull Los Angeles within 57-55 with 4:35 left.
But the Sun did not cool off during a dominant third, closing it out with their first double-digit lead of the day (69-57) after Tyasha Harris drilled a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired with 2.5 seconds remaining.
Eight lead changes and three ties highlighted the opening quarter that ended with Los Angeles up 20-19.
The Sparks opened the second on an 8-2 run that was punctuated by Clarendon, who stole a pass and raced down the court for an easy layup and 28-21 lead at the 7:52 mark.
Connecticut responded with an 11-2 run capped by Tiffany Hayes, who was fouled hard by Jordin Canada going into the lane. She initially appeared to injure her wrist but was fine and hit two free throws for a 32-30 lead with 4:44 left.
Bonner’s catch-and-shoot 3-pointer from the corner with 3:37 left gave the Sun the lead for good at a 35-32 advantage. The Sparks kept themselves in the game in the first half by scoring 11 points off 12 turnovers but trailed 43-38 at halftime.
—Field Level Media
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