WNBA: Alyssa Thomas’ triple-double leads Sun past Mercury

Alyssa Thomas collected her second triple-double in less than two weeks as the Connecticut Sun used balanced scoring and outstanding defense to rout the Phoenix Mercury 87-63 on Tuesday in Uncasville, Conn.

Thomas bagged 10 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists as Connecticut upped its record to 21-10, maintaining its hold on the No. 3 seed for the upcoming WNBA playoffs. Thomas cinched the triple-double when she converted a layup with 4:11 left in the game.

Seven players reached double figures for the Sun, led by Natisha Hiedeman with a game-high 16 points. DeWanna Bonner, Courtney Williams and reserve DiJonai Carrington scored 12 each. Brionna Jones came off the bench to add 11 points, while Jonquel Jones contributed a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double.

Sophie Cunningham and Skylar Diggins-Smith each scored 15 points for Phoenix (13-18), and Kaela Davis came off the bench to add 10. The Mercury played most of the last three quarters without Diana Taurasi, who missed all six shots she attempted before departing with an undisclosed injury.

Connecticut limited perimeter-oriented Phoenix to 35.9 percent shooting from the field, including a miserable 6-of-27 performance (22.2 percent) from 3-point range. The Sun also earned a 44-33 advantage on the glass while forcing 18 turnovers.

After a slow start, Connecticut found its rhythm on offense over the last three quarters, finishing the game at 45.9 percent from the field. The Sun moved the ball well, drawing 24 assists on 34 made baskets.

Phoenix led 9-4 before Connecticut forged a 13-13 tie after one quarter. The Sun began pulling away in the second quarter, holding the Mercury without a point for the first 3:42 and establishing a 13-point lead before Shey Peddy’s 3-pointer made it 35-25 for the home team entering halftime.

After maintaining a double-figure lead for most of the third quarter and taking a 57-45 cushion to the final period, Connecticut blew it open with a 10-3 spurt to start the fourth. The margin reached 28 points late in the game.

–Field Level Media

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