Sun down Aces to clinch playoff berth

Briann January scored a game-high 19 points, DeWanna Bonner added 18 points and nine rebounds, and the Connecticut Sun became the first team to clinch a WNBA playoff berth with a 76-62 win over the Las Vegas Aces on Tuesday in Uncasville, Conn.

Bonner, who scored a season-high 31 points on Thursday against Minnesota, also had three steals to move into 21st place on the league’s all-time steals list.

Brionna Jones had 15 points and eight boards while Sun leading scorer Jonquel Jones finished with a fantastic read season-low eight points and 10 boards.

Connecticut (18-6) claimed the top spot in the league standings with its sixth straight win, knocking Las Vegas (17-7) into second place.

“Our fight and our energy, man, it’s contagious,” Bonner told the team’s ESPN3 broadcast.

“Still one game at a time. We still fighting for first place — Vegas and Seattle are still right there. Yeah, we clinched, but we’ve still got a long way to go.”

Aces leading scorer A’ja Wilson was held to four points on 1-of-15 shooting, snapping her streak of 53 straight regular-season games scoring in double figures.

Chelsea Gray had 15 points and both Liz Cambage and Dearica Hamby scored 13 for Las Vegas, which had its three-game winning streak snapped.

Connecticut improved to a league-best 11-1 at home this season. The Sun swept the three-game season series against the Aces, winning 72-65 at Las Vegas on May 23 before earning a 74-67 home victory on June 1.

The Sun were up by as many as 14 points before the Aces pulled within 58-54 after three quarters.

Connecticut regained its momentum in the fourth, and Jasmine Thomas’ jumper with 3:25 remaining capped a 14-4 Sun run to open a 72-58 lead.

Las Vegas continues its three-game road trip at the Atlanta Dream on Thursday night. Connecticut hosts the first of back-to-back home games against the Los Angeles Sparks on Thursday night.

–Field Level Media

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