Jones, Sun win again; she records another double-double
Jonquel “JJ” Jones and the Connecticut Sun continued their impressive play, beating up on the last two champions, as the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) continued over the weekend.
Jones had 16 points and 12 rebounds in leading the Sun past the 2017 WNBA Champions, the Minnesota Lynx, on the road, on Friday; and then followed that up with a 13-point, 11-rebound performance against the reigning champions, the Seattle Storm, at home, on Sunday.
It was the fifth and sixth double-doubles of the season for the women’s basketball phenomena who is tabbed by CBS Sports to be the Most Valuable Player (MVP) this season. The Sun outlasted the Lynx, 85-81, at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Friday, and then returned home to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, and blasted the Storm, 81-67, in a nationally televised game on ABC on Sunday.
The Sun have won six straight games, and eight out of nine to start the WNBA season. They won a franchise-record 12th-straight game at home, with their win over the defending champion, the Storm, on Sunday. The Storm dropped to a 5-4 win-loss record in the standings, fifth-best in the league. The Sun lead the way at 8-1.
Both of the Sun’s opponents over the weekend were missing some pieces – the Lynx are without Maya Moore, who is taking a one-year sabbatical from the league to pursue other interests, and Seimone Augustus, due to knee surgery; and the Storm are without both Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird. Stewart will miss the season with an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear and Bird is likely out for the year following knee surgery.
Be that as it may, the Sun are rolling.
A trio of players scored 16 points apiece on Friday. Shekinna Stricklen and Alyssa Thomas joined Jones as they scored 16 points apiece.
The Sun opened the largest lead of the game, 85-75, with three minutes remaining, and then held off a late comeback by the Lynx. Odyssey Sims, who was acquired via trade from the Los Angeles Sparks in April, scored a season-high 25 points for Minnesota.
Jones shot 5-for-9 from the floor and was 1-for-5 from distance for her 16 points. Collectively, the Sun shot 33-for-66 from the field and out-rebounded Minnesota 36-26.
The Sun got back to work on Sunday. Thomas scored 20 points, Stricklen added 16 and the Sun won easily over the Storm. In putting up 13 points and 11 rebounds, Jones notched her sixth double-double in nine games. She had an all-around game as she added six assists and three blocked shots. Jones shot 6-for-11 from the floor, and was 1-for-3 from distance.
The Sun led just 56-54 heading into the fourth quarter, but went on a 10-2 run to increase their lead to double digits and never looked back. The Storm could only get within eight the rest of the way.
Natasha Howard scored 20 points and Jewell Loyd added 15 to lead the Storm.
Jones is the Sun’s leading scorer and rebounder this season, and is on pace to surpass the 403 total rebounds she had during the 2017 season – a WNBA record.
The fourth-year forward/center is averaging 17.2 points and 12 rebounds per game this season, while shooting 50.5 percent from the field and 32.5 percent from three-point land.
The Sun will host the Atlanta Dream on Friday.
Education: College of The Bahamas, Associates in Accounting