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Jun 3, 2024 6:52 pm

Sun, Mystics on opposite sides of history ahead of rematch

alyssa thomas

The Connecticut Sun and the Washington Mystics are both off to historic starts in 2024, but for different reasons.

Connecticut is 8-0 for the first time in franchise history, while Washington’s 0-8 start is tied for its worst ever.

The Sun, though, are downplaying their torrid start entering Tuesday’s Commissioner’s Cup clash against the Mystics in Uncasville, Conn.

“We don’t care about the record,” forward Alyssa Thomas said. “It’s a 40-game season — it’s a lot of basketball to be played. Right now it’s just about us and getting better each and every game.”

Thomas’s all-around play has contributed to Connecticut’s success. The 11-year veteran averages 13.8 points, 9.6 rebounds and a league-leading nine assists per game. She bundled eight points, 11 assists and 14 boards in the Sun’s 69-50 road win over the Atlanta Dream on Sunday.

Washington lost at home to Atlanta 73-67 on Wednesday before falling 90-79 at the New York Liberty on Friday.

Scoring struggles have hampered the Mystics amid their worst start since 2007 — Washington ranks last in the WNBA in points per game (74.0) and is shooting 40.4 percent from the field, the league’s second-lowest mark.

The Mystics led 75-74 midway through the final quarter on Friday before going scoreless over the next 2 1/2 minutes as New York reclaimed the lead for good.

Despite his team getting outscored 16-4 over the game’s final 4:26, Washington coach Eric Thibault praised the Mystics for rallying from a 17-point deficit to take the lead against the defending Eastern Conference champions.

“I think that’s who we are,” Thibault said about Washington’s resilience. “Our collective self-talk in timeouts and to each other on the court was outstanding. Even people that weren’t in the game just really engaged. … I think that’s a sign that it’s going to turn.”

Ariel Atkins led the Mystics with 15 points on Friday, boosting her team-best scoring average to 13.8.

DeWanna Bonner paces the Sun with 19 points per game and is coming off her first double-double of the season, an 18-point, 10-rebound effort against the Dream.

Bonner set her season high with 22 points in Connecticut’s 84-77 home win over Washington on May 17. Karlie Samuelson scored 18 points — her most this season — to lead the Mystics.

–Field Level Media

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