Resilient Solar to face fifth WNBA playoff elimination sport

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) — 4 occasions Connecticut has confronted elimination this yr within the WNBA playoffs and 4 occasions the Solar have responded with a convincing win to remain alive.

Essentially the most convincing got here Thursday, when Connecticut bounced again from two losses in Las Vegas to rout the Aces 105-76 at residence in Sport 3 of the Finals, placing six gamers in double figures and outscoring Vegas 64-26 within the paint. The margin of victory was the biggest in a WNBA Finals elimination sport.

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“Should you might encapsulate Connecticut, it’s bodily, and really resilient,” Aces coach Becky Hammon mentioned. “They’re bodily, they usually’re resilient, they usually have a type of a battle-type mentality.”

The Solar confirmed that in beating Dallas in a deciding third sport within the first spherical, and once more in successful two straight after falling behind 2-1 to Chicago within the semifinals, together with a 24-point win within the first of the 2 elimination video games in that collection.

The crew must win two extra elimination video games, together with Sunday at residence, to take residence the group’s first WNBA title.

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“I feel it’s simply the M.O. of our crew,” mentioned ahead Jonquel Jones, who scored 20 factors Thursday. “When our backs are in opposition to the wall, we play actually good basketball. And generally you want that you simply didn’t put your self in these positions. However that’s achieved now. All we will do is concentrate on the subsequent sport. And I simply really feel like within the playoffs, anytime our backs goes in opposition to the wall, you see us come out.”

Connecticut made a number of profitable changes in Sport 3, together with assigning 6-foot-4 DeWanna Bonner to protect the red-hot Chelsea Grey. The Aces guard scored simply 11 factors after averaging 23.3 over her first eight video games of the playoffs.

“Chelsea’s been killing it this playoff run however yeah, I did the very best I can and stopped her and my teammates had been proper there,” Bonner mentioned. “So long as they’re proper there. I’m gonna be proper there with them.”

Bonner, who made simply two of her 18 photographs within the first two video games of the collection additionally erupted from that hunch, scoring 18 factors whereas going 8 of 15 from the sector and buoying her teammates.

“There’s no secret that she has championship pedigree, and has performed on some nice groups,” Solar coach Curt Miller mentioned. “And so we’ve a gaggle that basically appears to be like as much as her. So when she performs with power. … It simply provides the remainder of our crew a lot confidence.”

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However Hammon mentioned her Aces are indignant after the loss and are ready to make changes of their very own in Sport 4.

Guard Kelsey Plum mentioned that may embody being extra bodily and attempting to maintain the Solar’s Alyssa Thomas out of the excessive put up. The 6–2 ahead operated with impunity there Thursday, spreading the ball to teammates or driving to the basket. She ended up with the primary triple-double in WNBA Finals historical past, scoring 16 factors, grabbing 15 rebounds and passing for 11 assists.

“I don’t suppose that we adjusted in addition to we might have,” Plum mentioned. “They bought to the 50/50 Balls and physicality sensible, we didn’t match that power that they performed with, particularly Alyssa Thomas. She’d beat us to a whole lot of these balls and that’s on us. That’ll be fastened for Sunday.”

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Extra WNBA playoffs: https://apnews.com/hub/wnba-playoffs and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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