Jonquel Jones collected 19 points and eight rebounds to propel the Connecticut Sun to a 93-68 victory over the Dallas Wings in Game 1 of their first-round WNBA playoff series on Thursday in Uncasville, Conn.
Jones made two 3-pointers and sank 7 of 8 shots from the free-throw line. The 2021 WNBA MVP was limited to just 13, 12 and 10 points as Connecticut dropped two of three regular-season encounters against Dallas.
Alyssa Thomas recorded 15 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for the third-seeded Sun, who can clinch the best-of-three series with a victory in Game 2 at home on Sunday afternoon.
Connecticut's DiJonai Carrington had 13 points and six rebounds off the bench, DeWanna Bonner added 12 points and Courtney Williams had 10 points.
Dallas' Allisha Gray made 7 of 11 shots from the floor to finish with 17 points. Tyasha Harris scored 13 points and Marina Mabrey added 11 while batting foul trouble for the sixth-seeded Wings.
Dallas' Teaira McCowan, who was named the Western Conference Player of the Month on Tuesday, was limited to seven points on 2-of-6 shooting from the floor.
The Wings, who were down by 10 at halftime, trimmed their deficit to six early in the third quarter before the Sun scored 13 unanswered points to take control of the game. Natisha Hiedeman sank a 3-pointer to cap the surge and give Connecticut a 64-45 lead.
The Sun weren't seriously threatened the rest of the way.
Bonner blocked Gray's 3-point attempt and converted an uncontested layup at the other end to give Connecticut a 22-13 lead with 38.8 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Satou Sabally, however, sank a pair of 3-pointers -- including a half-court shot before the buzzer -- to trim Dallas' deficit to three points.
Undaunted, the Sun scored 15 of the first 20 points of the second quarter to seize a 37-24 advantage. Brionna Jones converted a putback on a rebound of Jonquel Jones' 3-point attempt to cap that surge.
Jonquel Jones drained a 3-pointer to give Connecticut its then-biggest lead of the game at 44-30 with 1:56 remaining in the second quarter.
--Field Level Media