Sacramento 66, Connecticut 55
Monarchs One Win from Title
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 18 (Ticker) -- The Connecticut Sun rallied within a basket before the Sacramento Monarchs moved within one win of a WNBA title.
Yolanda Griffith had 19 points and 11 rebounds and the Monarchs withstood a comeback by the Sun in a 66-55 victory that gave them a 2-1 lead in the WNBA Finals.
Griffith had a pair of baskets in a 9-0 burst that gave Sacramento its largest lead at 50-36 with just over 12 minutes to play. However, Connecticut used a 12-0 surge to get back in the game.
Two free throws by Nykesha Sales, who scored 17 points, made it 57-55 with 3:16 left. But those were the last points for the Sun, who appeared to wilt down the stretch.
After Kara Lawson went backdoor for a layup, Jamie Carey missed a fast-break layup and Sales missed underneath. Ticha Penicheiro split a pair of free throws for a 60-55 lead with 59 seconds to go.
Griffith rebounded Penicheiro's missed foul shot, beginning a parade to the foul line by Lawson, who sank six in the final 54 seconds.
Lawson scored 16 points off the bench and Nicole Powell added 12 for the Monarchs, who overcame 37.5 percent (24-of-64) shooting by committing just seven turnovers.
Taj McWilliams-Franklin had 16 points and 13 boards for the Sun, who committed 16 turnovers and made just 10-of-19 free throws.
Connecticut All-Star guard Lindsay Whalen, who sat out Game 2 with knee and ankle injuries, returned but managed just two points and two assists with five turnovers in 23 minutes.