UNCASVILLE, Conn. — It took a historic comeback for the Connecticut Sun to win a fourth straight game and move into first in the Eastern Conference.
Down 22 points midway through the third quarter, the Sun rallied to beat the Washington Mystics 96-92 on Saturday night.
Jonquel Jones scored 22 points, Alyssa Thomas hit the go-ahead jumper with 36 seconds left. The Sun (10-7) then got two stops on the other end to pullout the incredible win.
“We have a lot of heart. This team never quits and it’s just a lot of fun out there,” said Thomas, who was playing with the flu. “Most teams would have gave up down 22, but we just came together even closer.
Rallying from 22 down topped the previous franchise mark that was set in 2006 when Connecticut came back from a 19-point deficit against Phoenix. It also was two points short of the WNBA record for a second half rally set by Washington in 2011 against Los Angeles.
The Mystics (10-8) led 75-53 with 5:03 left in the third. Jones’ layup sparked a 20-6 Sun run to close the quarter and cut the deficit to eight.
“The game changed in the third quarter when they were allowed to hold and grab and get away with a lot of that stuff,” Washington coach Mike Thibault said.
It’s the second time on this road trip that the Mystics blew a big lead. They were up 17 points at Los Angeles.
“Unfortunately, we hoped to learn in L.A. and move forward and not have it happen again,” Elena Delle Donne said. “It was the same downfall and crumble. We have to learn from it.”
Thomas finished with 19 points to help Connecticut win for the 10th time in 13 games and take over the conference lead. With the new playoff format that went into place last season, winning the East isn’t as important as it used to be. Still for a young team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2012, they are excited to keep winning.
She battled through it to try and contain Delle Donne on the defensive end and contribute offensively. She scored five straight points to tie it at 86 with 4:31 left, and her late jumper finally put Connecticut in front. Washington had two opportunities to tie or regain the lead, but Delle Donne and Tierra Ruffin-Pratt missed jumpers.
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