DeWanna Bonner scored 21 points to propel the host Connecticut Sun to an 80-74 victory over the Washington Mystics on Sunday in Uncasville, Conn.
Brionna Jones added 15 points and 10 rebounds and Alyssa Thomas chipped in 14 and 16, respectively, for the Sun in their 2023 home opener.
Shakira Austin and Elena Delle Donne each posted a double-double for Washington, which shot just 3-for-21 (14.3 percent) from 3-point range. Austin scored 21 points on 10 of 14 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Delle Donne supplied 19 points and 11 boards.
The Sun rallied from a 12-point first-quarter deficit and claimed their first lead of the game with 8:32 left in the fourth after Jones gobbled up a miss and scored to put her team ahead 59-58.
Jones’ putback sparked a 10-2 surge to begin the final stanza as the Sun stretched their lead to 67-60 with six minutes to play.
Delle Donne’s three-point play brought the Mystics to within 69-68 at the 3:10 mark, but Connecticut drilled 11 of 14 free throws down the stretch to seal it.
The Sun went 20-for-25 at the line in the second half after shooting just 5-for-11 from the stripe before intermission. Washington, meanwhile, made 7 of 11 free throws in the second half after going 10-for-11 in the first.
Both teams made eight shots throughout a high-scoring third quarter as the Mystics clung to a one-possession lead for most of the stanza. Austin racked up seven points to keep Washington ahead 58-57 entering the fourth quarter.
The Mystics finished 27-for-69 (39.1 percent) from the field compared to a 25-for-68 clip (36.8 percent) for Connecticut.
Washington raced out to a 14-3 lead as the Sun missed seven of their first eight field goals.
Tiffany Hayes scratched across five points to keep Connecticut within striking distance, but Amanda Zauhi B. banked in a straightaway 3-pointer just before the first-quarter buzzer to replenish the Mystics’ 10-point lead at 24-14.
Bonner shook off her scoreless first quarter with a 10-point outburst in the second period to pull the Sun back into it.
She and Rebecca Allen each drilled a 3-pointer during a 16-5 Connecticut surge that Bonner capped with a layup to pull them within 31-30 with 4:24 left in the half.
The Sun dried up from the floor after that and left five points at the foul line to enter halftime trailing 38-34.
–Field Level Media
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