WASHINGTON – Jonquel Jones scored 32 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, and the Connecticut Sun took advantage of Elena Delle Donne’s early injury exit to beat the Washington Mystics 99-87 in Game 2 of the WNBA Finals on Tuesday night and even the series.
Alyssa Thomas added 21 points and 12 rebounds, and Courtney Williams had 22 points for the Sun, who dominated the paint after the 6-foot-5 Delle Donne departed in the first quarter with back spasms.
Connecticut outrebounded Washington 41-27 overall and 17-6 on the offensive glass. Jones, who didn’t have an offensive board in the first game, had a WNBA Finals record nine. She also only took eight shots in the series opener, which Connecticut lost 95-86.
“I was disappointed in Game 1,” Jones said. “Disappointed with my lack of getting offensive boards, I had to make a change.”
In Game 2, Emma Meeseman scored 22 points off the bench for Washington after spelling Delle Donne early in the first quarter and Tianna Hawkins added 16. Washington’s bench outscored Connecticut’s 52-9.
Kristi Toliver was the Mystics’ only starter in double figures with 13 points. Delle Donne finished scoreless after taking just two early shots.
“She’s such a big part of what they do. You don’t want to wish injury on anyone, but we knew it was a chance to steal one here,” Jones said.
Even so, after Connecticut put together an early run following Delle Donne’s departure and led by as many as 14 points in the second quarter, the Mystics fought back from a 10-point halftime deficit to tie it briefly.
Aerial Powers converted a three-point play before adding a slashing layup on Toliver’s feed to cut it to 71-69 late in the third following a 7-0 spurt. Toliver’s runner evened it at 76-all with 8:14 left in the game.
The Sun responded with a 6-0 spurt to take the lead for good. Jones hit a putback before Williams added a pair of inside buckets, the latter after two offensive rebounds to make it 82-76.
A reach for the Sun
Connecticut has now won four games this postseason, one shy of the team record of five.
Sun: Jones passed her Game 1 scoring total of 12 points when she hit a layup 4:25 left in the first half to reach 14. She had 18 points and 10 rebounds by halftime. … G Layshia Clarendon (right ankle) did not play after coach Curt Miller said Monday she was questionable for the game. Clarendon hasn’t played in a live game since June 16.
Mystics: Delle Donne also missed the teams’ first regular season meeting in 2019, an 84-69 Sun victory on May 25. … C LaToya Sanders picked up a technical for a defensive 3-second violation with 39 seconds left in the first half, and Hawkins committed the same offense midway through the third quarter.
The series shifts to Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun Arena for Game 3 on Sunday afternoon.
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