BRADENTON, Fla. — A’ja Wilson had 29 points, seven rebounds and a career-high seven blocks to lead the top-seeded Las Vegas Aces past the Connecticut Sun 83-75 on Tuesday night to even the best-of-five playoff series at 1-1.
Wilson converted a three-point play with 1:03 remaining to break a tie at 75. After Connecticut’s 17th turnover of the game, Wilson drove to the basket again, bobbled it and made the layup while being fouled. She missed the free throw, but Angel McCoughtry grabbed the rebound and Dearica Hamby made 1 of 2 free throws for an eight-point lead.
“We were going to win this game. I didn’t want to be down 2-0,” Wilson said of her mindset down the stretch. “Got to find ways to make it happen. Tried my best to do it.”
DeWanna Bonner led Connecticut with 23 points and seven rebounds, and Briann January added 20 points. Alyssa Thomas, averaging 15.5 points and nine rebounds, left the game in the first quarter after injuring her right shoulder and did not return.
Connecticut coach Curt Miller said he didn't know what Thomas' status was for the rest of the series.
“I will find out more,” he said. “Dislocated shoulder is the rumour that’s floating around the bench, but it's not confirmed.”
Thomas returned to the bench late in the fourth quarter with her arm in a sling.
Jasmine Thomas, who scored a career-high 31 points in Game 1, was held to 10 points.
Las Vegas coach Bill Laimbeer is 5-1 in his last six playoff series when dropping first game and is now 9-1 in the next playoff game after his team loses by double digits.
McCoughtry, Hamby and Kayla McBride each added 11 points for Las Vegas. It was Wilson’s 16th game with 20-plus points this season.
The Associated Press