Thomas, Bonner lead Sun to playoff upset over Sparks

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Alyssa Thomas racked up 19 points and DeWanna Bonner collected 17 points and 13 rebounds as the Connecticut Sun upset the Los Angeles Sparks 73-59 in a single-elimination, second-round game of the WNBA playoffs Thursday night at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

The seventh-seeded Sun move on to meet the top-seeded Las Vegas Aces in Sunday’s Game 1 of the semifinals, which are a best-of-five series.

All five Connecticut starters scored in double figures, with Briann January tacking on 11 points while Brionna Jones and Jasmine Thomas, who had six assists, both notched 10 points. Alyssa Thomas and Bonner each supplied five assists.

Candace Parker poured in 22 points to go with 14 rebounds and five assists while reserve Seimone Augustus had 10 points for the Sparks, who were charged with 14 turnovers compared to just eight for the Sun.

Los Angeles swept both meetings with the Sun in the regular season. However, Sparks guard Chelsea Gray, who was a key contributor in those victories, was held to four points (2-for-9 shooting) without an assist in the playoff matchup.

The third-seeded Sparks were without starting forward Nneka Ogwumike, who sat out due to illness. The Sun eliminated the Sparks for the second year in a row.