WNBA Finals comes down to a decisive Game 5 in Washington

WNBA Finals: Sun force Game 5 after dramatic win over Mystics

WNBA Finals: Sun force Game 5 after dramatic win over Mystics

Facing elimination, the Connecticut Sun gutted out a 90-86 win over the Washington Mystics in Game 4 of the series. "We keep saying that we haven't played our best basketball yet, so we have another opportunity to do that and hopefully that day's on Thursday". Jones scored four of the Sun's first nine points as the team's went back and forth with several ties and lead changes over the first half of the period. A 3-pointer from Stricklen with 2:23 remaining in the game would break the final tie and put the Sun up for good. She set the tone literally right from the opening tip, grabbing the loose ball after Jonquel Jones won the jump, and driving in for a layup. When we started getting touches and finding open shooters and moving the ball side-to-side - [the Sun] are not a great defensive team. Connecticut's Alyssa Thomas pulled down the rebound and was fouled. The guard had seven rebounds, four assists and two steals.

"I thought we just stayed aggressive", CT guard Courtney Williams said. "So that's how I got my open shots that I'm used to". Jasmine Thomas played a big role in that effort, scoring half of her 14 points in the fourth quarter.

But the Sun did win Game 2 in Washington, 99-87.

Aerial Powers came off the bench to lead Washington with 15 points.

Washington does have a superstar, but has relied on other players in the Finals, because Elena Delle Donne has been playing with a herniated disk in her back.

The Sun had themselves a 16-point cushion entering the second half, but would quickly run into trouble.

"That's what we worked for this whole season", Delle Donne said.

CT was outstanding out of the gate. The lead was short-lived as Emma Meesseman answered with a 3 from the wing to tie the game again. They had leads of 25-10 and 30-12 in the first quarter.

With the energy in the arena pulsating for every CT basket or defensive stop, the Mystics continued to hang tough through the fourth quarter until the shots stopped falling. "I thought that's what we did in the first quarter". In 2017, they were outscored by five points in the fourth quarter in a game they lost by five. She was a flawless 6-for-6 from the free throw line as the team overall shot 23 of 26 compared to the Mystics 10 of 13. Head coach Curt Miller was happy with how his team and the crowd responded.

Plus, even if Thomas wasn't efficient from the field, she was almost flawless from the free throw line. Toliver said after the Mystics clinched that series, explaining her return to the starting lineup.

But the Sun didn't back down.

The Mystics missed shots down the stretch and failed to secure rebounds. She won her first with the Los Angeles Sparks in 2016 with a 77-76 win in Game 5 against the Minnesota Lynx.

After a timeout, Cloud drove to the basket but missed the shot and Alyssa Thomas corralled the rebound and hit the first of two free throws to seal the win.

Vickey Wright-Smith (right) and her daughter Victoria Smith join dozens of Washington Mystics fans at National Harbor to watch the team play Game 4 of the WNBA Finals on October 8. The Sun stayed alive with a 90-86 victory.

Mystics coach Mike Thibault wasn't sure why that was the case, especially when the Sun only committed one foul in the final quarter. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

Miller was pleased that Jones was more involved in the action.

"We went stretches without her touching it, which was frustrating, but her activity never stopped", he said. Even though she wasn't super efficient in terms of her finishing inside, it didn't matter because her passing was on point. "We've gotta go get us a championship and we've gotta do it on their home floor". In the opening game for the Sun in the series, they were able to really take care of the Mystics rather easily as they won the game by 9 points and would like to repeat that game. The Sun tied a franchise record for most points in a half with 56 at halftime.

The Sun had a balanced scoring night with all five starters scoring in double figures. She is averaging 11.5 points and 5.5 rebounds for the Finals; contrast that with her 21.3 PPG and 7.0 RPG in the semifinals against Las Vegas and her 19.5 and 8.3 averages in the regular season. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in CT and New England for more than 30 years.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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