Sports

Jones heats up as Sun scorches Sparks

Playing in the ‘City of Angels’, Bahamian women’s professional basketball player Jonquel ‘JJ’ Jones showed why she is the reigning Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) Most Valuable Player (MVP). She had a big outing, particularly in the first half when she scored 18 of her 21 points. The Connecticut Sun blew past the Los Angeles Sparks, 97-71, at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California, on Tuesday.

The Sun were coming off a heartbreaking 94-91 loss to Chicago Sky on Sunday, but showed why they are a contender for the title this year with their bounce-back victory on Tuesday night.

Not only did the Grand Bahamian drop in 21 points, but she had her fourth straight double-double and 11th of the season as she added 10 rebounds. Jones went 8-for-12 from the field, shooting a blistering 66.7 percent on the night. Her long bombs were clicking as she went 3-for-4 from distance. Jones also made both of her shots from the charity stripe and added two assists.

Jones did all of that in just under 26 minutes on the floor. The Sun have won seven of their last nine games and sport a 23-11 win/loss record on the season. They are the third seed in the league, two games behind the Sky who have a 25-9 record.

Although it was a blowout win for the Sun, the game did not start the way the final score indicated. The Sparks started the game on a 10-2 run. Jones then made a jump shot and a layup to cut the Sparks’ lead to 10-6 with 7:34 left in the first quarter.

The Sun eventually took the lead when Natisha Hiedeman made a layup to put them up 11-10 with 5:56 left in the first quarter. Those points came amidst a 16-0 run by the Sun that saw them take an 18-10 with 3:57 left in the opening period. Jones had six of those 16 points.

At the end of the first quarter, the Sun led 27-17, and held the momentum going into the second period.

After scoring six points in the first quarter, the Grand Bahama native made it the ‘Jonquel Jones Show’ in the second quarter as she dropped in 12 points to give her team a 26-15 advantage. Jones made all four of her shot attempts and added two free throws in the second quarter. Jones’ final made shot of the first half was from deep. That shot with 38.9 seconds left in the first half put her team up 53-32. The score remained unchanged at the intermission.

It was still a dominant second half by the Sun as they never lost a quarter in this game. Jones made her final field goal of the game when she made a shot from the top of the three-point key to put her team up 84-60 with 6:31 left in the game. She was subbed out the game for good at the 5:27 mark. The Sun did not need her back on the court as they held on to win.

Coming into this game, Jones had 17 points and 10 rebounds, 14 points and 10 rebounds, and 10 points and 10 rebounds, in her last three games. It was also her fight straight game scoring in double digits. She averages 14.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game in 31 games this season. She leads her team in points and rebounds. Jones is shooting 50.5 percent from the field this season, and has made 37 percent of her shots from deep.

Jones’ 8.7 rebounds per game ranks at number three in the league in that category.

The Sun have two more games left in the season and one of those is a rematch against the Sparks at the same venue. That game will be played tonight, and gets underway at 10:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). They have already clinched the number three spot in the playoffs.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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