akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

WASHINGTON — On a night where almost every player on the floor struggled to find the basket, the Connecticut Sun’s Alyssa Thomas had a grand time while appearing to find the going pretty easy — though Thomas specializes in making the difficult look routine.

Thomas scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, her 23rd double-double of the season, in leading the Sun to a 68-64 victory over the Washington Mystics in a defensive struggle inside the Entertainment & Sports Arena. DeWanna Bonner added 17 points and the Sun held Washington to 35.5 percent shooting as Connecticut completes the four-game season sweep of Washington this campaign.

Thomas’ 23rd double-double ties Tina Charles for most double-doubles in a single-season in franchise history.

Along with the staunch field goal defense, the Sun forced the Mystics into 20 turnovers.

The Mystics erased a 12-point third quarter deficit, finally tying the game at 63-63 with 1:54 remaining in the game on a jumper by Shakira Austin. Bonner responded with a three-pointer on the next possession to give the Sun the lead for good. After a free throw by Washington cut Connecticut’s lead to two with 34.7 seconds remaining, the Mystics had the chance for the win with a Brittney Sykes three-point attempt with under 10 seconds remaining, but it fell short. Bonner was fouled and made two free throws on the other end to seal the victory.

The Mystics were led by Natasha Cloud’s 29 points on 6-of-12 shooting, while Austin had 12 points and seven rebounds in the defeat. Aside from those two players, the Mystics other players combined to go 11-for-40 from the field. Washington continued to play without Elena Delle Donne and Kristi Toliver due to injury, and tonight’s loss was their fifth defeat in their last seven contests. Two of the Mystics’ next three contests are against the league-leading Las Vegas Aces, as Washington will host the defending WNBA champions on Saturday before they have to travel to Sin City on Thursday, August 31.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Tuesday evening’s game, with all photos taken by DC-area photographer Clifford Ray Williams. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 23 pictures in total.

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Tags : Alyssa ThomasConnecticut SunWashington MysticsWNBAWomen's National Basketball Association

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