On Tuesday night, the Sun snapped a three-game losing streak with a huge win over the Dallas Wings, 80-70. Still playing without MVP-candidate Jonquel Jones, who is tearing it up in EuroBasket for Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Sun nonetheless looked like themselves again. They dominated the Wings on the glass 37-27, and had 19 assists to the Wings’ 15.
The Sun had just come off a disheartening 2-game series against a resurgent Chicago Sky. Against the Wings, the Sun looked like a different team. Maybe the Sun just got tired of losing. Maybe players were inspired by the return of their coach Curt Miller, back from a two-game absence because of a family emergency. Maybe the presence of DeWanna Bonner’s twins Cali and Demi (#countit #twice) gave the Sun added momentum.
Lollipops, ring pops, and mom makin’ jumpshots pic.twitter.com/i8AvodHY7b— Connecticut Sun (@ConnecticutSun) June 23, 2021
Whatever the reason, the Sun figured out how to win without Jonquel Jones. Kaila Charles, whose emergence as a dominant player has been one of the most inspiring stories to come out of the last couple of weeks of WNBA play, had her first career double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, to go along with three steals. Brionna Jones had 5 rebounds and a career-high 26 points.
This spin move was so unreal 🤯— Connecticut Sun (@ConnecticutSun) June 23, 2021
We’re running it twice. pic.twitter.com/VN5HAMW7Pz
She was everything the Sun needed her to be and, in addition to offensive power, was a strong inside defensive presence against the Wings’ superpowered offense.
DeWanna Bonner’s contributions also cannot be understated and were a huge reason why the Sun pulled out the win. Bonner had 13 rebounds, 6 assists, and 25 points, 14 of which she scored in the third quarter to erase the deficit the Sun faced after the half and thwart any thoughts the Wings had of a win.
After the game, team reporter Robyn Brown asked Bonner what prompted the Sun’s ferocious play. “I just wanted to win,” Bonner said. “We needed this. We needed this for our confidence. We needed this for our fans, the standings, everything. We’re just trying to get some wins and stay together through a little bit of adversity.”
The Wings made this game feel much closer than the ten-point final margin. Arike Ogumbowale had 18 points and Satou Sabally put up 16. But the defense of the Sun, particularly that of Jasmine Thomas and Briann January, limited the scoring threats of Marina Mabrey and Kayla Thorton. Jasmine Thomas is a not-so-secret block machine (she had two in the game, one of which, on a Marina Mabrey shot at the end of the third quarter, was particularly filthy).
Brown asked DB whether this win felt significant. “We’re just weathering the storm,” Bonner said. “It’s not every day that you lose your lead scorer, your lead rebounder. We’ve just gotta adjust. It’s hard to adjust on the fly, and we’re just trying to get some wins when we can, and tonight was a huge one for us.”
She added, “I really wanted this win. I had my babies here. So Mommy had to put on a show a little bit.” The Sun don’t play again until Sunday, but Cali and Demi will be there for that game, too.
Good luck at practice Mom! We’ll be over here playing with AT! ☺️ pic.twitter.com/4rqNPzLy6b— Connecticut Sun (@ConnecticutSun) June 21, 2021
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