Less than 36 hours earlier, Alyssa Thomas missed the majority of game two following a shoulder injury.
The Connecticut Sun forward wouldn’t let that base the case for game three, no matter how much pain she was in.
Thomas’ superhuman effort propelled the Connecticut Sun to a 77-68 win over the Las Vegas Aces to take a 2-1 game advantage in the WNBA semifinals. Thomas led the Sun in scoring with a 23 point, 12 rebound double-double all while recovering from a dislocated shoulder she suffered in game two on top of her already two torn labrums.
In a game that featured 15 lead changes and was tied 14 times, the Sun out-toughed the Aces down the stretch. This was full on, gritty battle between two very physical teams who both hang their hats on toughness categories. It was evident from the start that Connecticut’s game plan was to dominate the paint, which they did outscoring the Aces 52-26 inside. 14 offensive rebounds led to 12 second chance points an additional 15 shot attempts in the game over Las Vegas.
The Sun we’re phenomenal taking care of the ball limiting their turnovers to just five on the game. They turned the Aces over 15 times and we able to capitalize on those turnovers for 14 additional points. Neither team shot exceptionally well, but the Sun were still able to finish with four players in double figures with Brionna Jones coming up big with 15 points, DeWanna Bonner struggled offensively but still managed a 12 point, 10 rebound double-double and Jasmine Thomas added 10.
Alyssa Thomas is arguably the toughest player in the WNBA and her team feeds off that. Her teammates proved that point following her injury in game two, when Connecticut pushed the game to the final moments. Toughness is the single greatest aspect of this series, and right now, Connecticut holds the advantage because of Thomas and what she brings to the culture of this team. They will not be outworked.
“There are the moments we all live for,” said Thomas following the game to Holly Rowe. “This is my time. I don’t want to lose. I know that this team is about.”
Connecticut is one win away from their second consecutive trip to the WNBA Finals. If Las Vegas wants to push this to a Game 5, they’re going to need momentum and production on the offensive end outside of MVP A’ja Wilson.
The Sun and Aces square off in Game Four of the WNBA Semifinals on Sunday, September 27 at 1:00pm ET on ESPN.