Sun overcome Wings and travel woes, advance to face Sky in semis

DeWanna Bonner and the Connecticut Sun flew to a 73-58 win over the Wings. (Cooper Neill/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Connecticut Sun managed to overcome some adversity en route to a 73-58 win Thursday over the Dallas Wings to close out their first-round playoff series.

As a result of the WNBA’s new playoff format, the higher seed (No. 3 Connecticut) traveled to the home court of the lower seed (No. 6 Dallas) for the deciding game of the three-game series. But both squads had issues leaving the East Coast after Sunday’s matchup due to rough weather and flight cancellations.

While Wings forward Isabelle Harrison gave a shoutout to the league, which provided charter flights to get both teams to Texas, Sun coach Curt Miller revealed before Game 3 that his team still ran into issues.

While the charter flight with the players landed in Dallas late Monday, other team staff and equipment still dealt with travel delays and did not arrive until Tuesday evening. So the Sun did not practice between Sunday’s Game 2 and Wednesday’s shootaround before Game 3.

“We were weight restricted, so very little could travel with us,” Miller said before Wednesday’s game. “So we arrived Monday night after midnight, the rest of our travel party was either delayed, canceled, all of the above on Tuesday and arrived at dinner time Tuesday with all of our stuff. So until shootaround this morning, we hadn’t been on a basketball court since Sunday.”

Despite the travel complications, the Sun dominated the Wings both offensively and defensively to close out the series with a win. They advance to face the defending champion Chicago Sky in the semifinals — a rematch from last year.

Connecticut’s DeWanna Bonner led all scorers with 21 points while adding five rebounds and five assists. Jonquel Jones added a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

For Dallas, Marina Mabrey had 20 points, while Veronica Burton was the only other double-digit scorer, contributing 10 points and six rebounds.