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Sun get hot late, top Lynx to climb in standings

UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Jonquel Jones made five 3-pointers and scored 26 points to lead the Connecticut Sun to a 96-79 victory over the visiting Minnesota Lynx on Friday night, Aug. 17, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville.

Alyssa Thomas added 18 points, eight rebounds and eight assists as Connecticut (20-13) won its third straight game and eighth in its last nine. Layshia Clarendon tallied 14 points and Courtney Williams contributed 13 points and eight rebounds.

Sylvia Fowles had 25 points and eight rebounds for Minnesota (17-16), which lost its third straight game and sixth in its past eight. Maya Moore had 12 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, Seimone Augustus also scored 12 points while Cecilia Zandalasini added 10.

The Sun shot 55.6 percent from the field with Alyssa Thomas making 8 of 10 attempts, Jones knocking down 8 of 11 and Clarendon making 6 of 9.

The Lynx shot 49.3 percent from the field. Minnesota was just 5 of 18 in the final quarter.

Connecticut resides in sole possession of fourth place in the standings after the Los Angeles Sparks (19-14) lost to Washington. Minnesota is in seventh place. Both teams have clinched playoff spots.

The Sun controlled the final quarter while pulling away.

Rachel Banham hit two free throws with 17.2 seconds left in the third quarter to start an 11-0 burst that increased the Connecticut lead from three points to 81-67.

A short time later, the Sun's advantage reached 85-69 on two free throws by Jasmine Thomas with 5:06 remaining.

The lead topped out at 94-74 on Jones' layup with 1:33 to play.

The Sun trailed by three at halftime but opened the third quarter with a 13-4 run to take a 56-50 edge on Alyssa Thomas' basket with 5:20 left in the stanza. The lead reached eight a short time later when Shekinna Stricklen buried a 3-pointer.

A basket by Fowles pulled the Lynx within 63-61 with 2:16 left in the quarter before Connecticut stretched the lead to five prior to the end of the period.

Fowles had 16 points on 8-of-8 shooting as Minnesota held a 46-43 lead at the break.

Fowles made seven of those shots in the first quarter as the Lynx were 14 of 17 overall while taking a 28-22 advantage.

Connecticut opened the second quarter with an 11-5 push to tie it at 33 on Morgan Tuck's basket with 5:40 remaining.