Dallas Wings hold off Connecticut Sun to force decisive Game 3

Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas (25) defends Dallas Wings forward Kayla Thornton (6) during the first round and game 1 of the WNBA playoffs between Dallas Wings and Connecticut Sun on August 18, 2022, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. (Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Dallas Wings held off a surging Connecticut Sun, 89-79, Sunday, sending the teams’ first-round playoff series to a decisive Game 3.

After dominating the first three quarters, Dallas allowed Connecticut back into the game, with the Sun mounting a 22-2 run in the fourth frame. The Wings, however, preserved their hard-earned advantage to clinch the must-win Game 2 and send the series to Dallas.

The Wings got off to a hot start, putting their foot on the gas as Connecticut struggled to make their shots drop in the opening quarter. According to ESPN, the Sun was one-for-eight in the paint during the opening frame, with Connecticut finishing the half shooting 37.8 percent from the field.

Kayla Thornton led the charge for Dallas, draining a career-high four threes while contributing 20 points, five rebounds and four assists. Tierra McCowan was critical off the bench, logging 17 points, 11 rebounds and three assists, while Allisha Gray added 15 points, eight assists and five rebounds.

As a team, the Wings outshot Connecticut 42.3 percent to 28.6 percent from beyond the arc, as six Dallas players sunk at least one 3-pointer.

Jonquel Jones and Brionna Jones finished with 20 points a piece, but their combined 40 points ultimately weren’t enough to overcome Dallas’ hardy first-half lead.

Sunday’s victory marks the Wings’ first playoff win since 2019, imbuing the team with confidence ahead of their home Game 3 matchup. Tied at 1-1, the first-round series will be decided in Dallas on Wednesday.