Bahamian center Jonquel Jones put up a fight as she dropped a game-high 25 points, but her Connecticut Sun fell 89-78 to the Washington Mystics in the fifth and final game of their best-of-five WNBA Finals series as the Mystics lifted the championship trophy at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, D.C., on Thursday night.
Jones flirted with a double-double as she pulled down 25 points in 30 minutes in the loss. She had the hot hand of the night, going 10-of-16 from the field to shoot 62.5 percent. She also hit 1-of-2 three-pointers.
Other than Jones, the Sun had Alyssa Thomas racking up a triple-double as she poured in 21 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out 11 assists.
For the Mystics, center Emma Meesseman had a great outing, scoring 22 points in 22 minutes off the bench to secure the most Valuable Player Award (MVP). Meesseman stepped up big all series and was a force to reckon with.
After not having a huge statistical series, league MVP Mystics power forward finished with 21 points in 37 minutes.
Although the series went to five games, it stayed true to its pattern where the team that won the first quarter won the game – the Mystics won the first quarter 23-20.
In the second quarter, the Sun took a 24-26 lead on a Bria Holmes three-point shot with nine minutes and 13 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
The game was neck and neck as both teams fought to avoid ending their season on a losing note. The Grand Bahamian connected on her lone three-point shot on the night with a little over a minute remaining as the Sun went up 43-40.
The Sun went up 43-42 going into the half. They won that quarter 23-19.
In the opening minutes of the third quarter, the Sun used a 10-1 run to go up 53-44.
Jones was whistled for a controversial foul, her fourth, with 6:22 remaining in the quarter which was a game-changer. She was taken out of the game and the Mystics went to work inside.
It was a very competitive third quarter as the Mystics battled back to tie the game at 58-58 on a Meesseman layup with 2:10 remaining in the third quarter.
After a 62-62 tie, Thomas broke the tie with time winding down to put her team up 64-62. The score remained unchanged at the end of the third quarter. The quarter was close as the visitors won it 21-20.
At the halfway mark of the fourth quarter, the Mystics were up 74-72, looking to lift the trophy on their home court at the end of the night.
A pivotal 8-0 run by the Mystics in the fourth quarter dug the Sun in an 80-72 hole that was difficult to come out of.
In the end, the Mystics never gave up the lead as they held on to lift the trophy in an 89-78 victory. The Mystics were dominant in the fourth quarter as they outscored the Sun 27-14.
The teams were close in rebounds as the Mystics won that battle 32-31. Both teams struggled from three-point territory with one day of rest between games four and five. The Mystics made four and the Sun made two.
The Mystics were on fire as they clipped the 50 percent mark from the field to go 33-of-36 on the night. The Sun shot 45.1 percent to end the night on 32-of-71 from the field.
It is the end of a praise-worthy season for Jones. She stood out against this season as she was draped with many accolades.
She led her team to its third WNBA finals and her first. They put up a fight against the league-best Mystics, pushing them to five competitive games before letting it slip away in the fourth quarter.
For her performance this season she was on the All-WNBA second team with many saying she deserved to be on the All-WNBA first team. She made her debut on the All-Defensive first team. She was also named as a starter for the 2019 WNBA All-Star game.
In the regular season, Jones almost averaged a double-double as she had 14.6 points per game to go with a league-leading 9.7 rebounds per contest. Those 9.7 rebounds per game helped to win the Peak Performer Award in that category.
The Sun finished the regular season with the second-best win-loss record, 23-11. The Mystics ended the season with a league-best 26-8 record. They ended the season with a six-game winning streak.
For Jones, she will look to improve on this season’s performance after having a taste of the WNBA Finals.