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Williams, Jones Help Sun Beat Sparks, Take 2-0 Series Lead

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) Jonquel Jones scored 27 points and Courtney Williams added 25 to help the Connecticut Sun rout the Los Angeles Sparks 94-68 on Thursday night and take a 2-0 lead in the WNBA semifinals.

Game 3 of the best-of-five series is Sunday in Los Angeles.

The Sun led by one at the half before Williams blew the game open. She scored 13 of her points in the third quarter to the delight of her dad, Don, who was courtside wearing her No. 10 jersey. He was jumping up and down on every one of her baskets and waving a towel and a cardboard cutout of his daughter’s head.

Connecticut led 70-57 after three quarters and scored 10 of the first 12 points in the fourth to dash any hopes Los Angeles had of a comeback. Sparks coach Derek Fisher pulled his starters with 5:31 left and his team down 23 points.

Nneka Ogwumike scored 18 points and Riquna Williams added 14 for the Sparks, who will have to win three straight to make the WNBA Finals for the third time in five years.

Riquna Williams had a dismal Game 1, missing eight of her nine shots and scoring just two points in the nine-point loss. She got out to a quick start on Thursday, scoring seven points in the first five minutes. Los Angeles led 16-6 midway through the period when Connecticut called timeout. The Sun then scored nine straight to get within one before the Sparks closed the quarter with the final six points.

The Sun battled back and took their first lead of the game with 1:04 left in the half on a basket by Jones. Connecticut led 41-40 at the half. Jones had 15 points for Connecticut while Ogwumike made all six of her shots and had 12 for Los Angeles.


Alyssa Thomas played the first 74 minutes of the series before finally subbing out for the first time with 5:31 left in the game and her team up comfortably. She finished with 12 points, 13 rebounds and six assists and helped hold Sparks star Candace Parker to just three points.


The 29 rebounds by Connecticut in the first half broke the WNBA playoff mark for a half. Four teams held the previous record of 28, most recently the 2017 Mystics. Connecticut finished the game with 46 to Los Angeles’ 24.