Basketball·WNBA ROUNDUP

Thomas posts 2nd triple-double of season as Sun dominate Mercury

Alyssa Thomas posted her second triple-double in less than two weeks and the Connecticut Sun beat the Phoenix Mercury 87-63 on Tuesday night.

Ionescu pots 31 points in Liberty's win over Sparks

Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas (25) celebrates during an 87-63 win over the Phoenix Mercury on Tuesday. (@ESPNStatsInfo/Twitter)

Alyssa Thomas posted her second triple-double in less than two weeks and the Connecticut Sun beat the Phoenix Mercury 87-63 on Tuesday night.

Thomas, who recorded the franchise's first triple-double in a win over the Minnesota Lynx on July 22, finished with 10 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. The No. 4 pick overall in the 2014 draft, the 6-foot-2 Thomas is just the fifth WNBA player with multiple triple-doubles and joined Candace Parker (Chicago Sky) and Sabrina Ionescu (New York Liberty) as the only players with more than one this season.

Natisha Hiedeman had 16 points to lead seven Connecticut players scoring in double figures, It's the 12th time in league history that many players have reached double-digits in the same game. Connecticut has done it three times.

Phoenix took a 13-8 lead when Shey Peddy scored with 3:44 left in the first quarter but the Mercury went scoreless for the next 7-plus minutes minutes. Brionna Jones made a layup to open the scoring in the second quarter and give Connecticut (21-10) the lead for good at 15-13. Hiedeman made a 3-pointer to make it 42-30 with 7:50 left in the third and the Sun led by double figures the rest of the way.

The Mercury (13-18) have lost back-to-back games to fall a game behind the Dallas Wings (13-16) for sixth in the WNBA standings with less than two weeks remaining in the regular season. New York, the Los Angeles Sparks, the Atlanta Dream and the Minnesota Lynx (11th) are all within a game of Phoenix.

DiJonai Carrington and DeWanna Bonner scored 12 points apiece, Brionna Jones scored 11 and Jonquel Jones added 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Sun.

Skylar Diggins-Smith and Sophie Cunningham scored 15 points apiece for Phoenix and Kaela Davis added 10.

Ionescu leads Liberty over Sparks

Sabrina Ionescu scored 31 points on 11-of-16 shooting, Natasha Howard had 24 points and 11 rebounds and the New York Liberty beat the Los Angeles Sparks 102-73 on Tuesday night in the first of back-to-back games between the teams.

The Liberty (12-18) and Los Angeles (12-18), who play again Wednesday in New York, are tied with the Atlanta Dream for the eighth and final playoff spot with less than two weeks remaining in the regular season, a half-game behind the Phoenix Mercury (13-18) and a half-game ahead of the 11th-place Minnesota Lynx (12-19).

Marine Johannes hit a 3-pointer to give the Liberty the lead for good at 21-20, Han Xu made two free throws to make it 45-33 with about 4 minutes left in the first half and the Sparks trailed by double figures throughout the second half.

Ionescu hit 5 of 9 from 3-point range and 11 of 16 from the field and Howard was 9-of-11 shooting for New York, which shot 57.8 per cent and scored at least 100 points for the third time this season. Xu finished with 13 points and tied her career high with eight rebounds. Johannes added 12 points for the Liberty.

Brittney Sykes led the Sparks with 19 points, Nneka Ogwumike scored 15 and Olivia Nelson-Ododa, a second-round pick in April's draft, added a career-high 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting.

L.A.'s Chiney Ogwumike and the Liberty's Rebecca Allen left the game after they collided midway through the second quarter and did not return.

Mystics snap Aces' winning streak

Natasha Cloud scored 16 points and had nine assists, Shakira Austin added 15 points and eight rebounds and the Washington Mystics beat Las Vegas 83-73 Tuesday night to snap the Aces' four-game win streak.

Ariel Atkins added 13 points for the Mystics (20-12). Elena Delle Donne scored five points on 1-of-7 shooting but grabbed 11 rebounds and had five assists.

Myisha Hines-Allen scored six straight points before Rui Machida made a driving layup to cap an 8-0 spurt that gave Washington a 65-59 lead going into the fourth quarter. Kelsey Plum hit a 3-pointer for Las Vegas that made it 68-all with 6:24 to play but Austin scored four points and Cloud added the final seven in a 13-0 spurt before Jackie Young hit a 3-pointer with 1:24 left to snap the Aces' scoring drought of 5-plus minutes.

A'ja Wilson led Las Vegas (22-9) with 22 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks. Chelsea Gray added 20 points, Plum scored 15 and Young finished with 11 points.

Washington, which has won back-to-back games and five of its last six, had 25 assists on 31 made field goals.

Wings defeat Sky to inch closer to playoff berth

Marina Mabrey scored a season-high 26 points, Teaira McCowan added 20 points and 12 rebounds and the Dallas Wings beat the Chicago Sky 84-78 on Tuesday night.

Dallas was missing Arike Ogunbowale, who is third in the league in scoring at 19.9 points, due to an ankle injury.

McCowan, who recorded her third consecutive double-double, made 8 of 12 from the field. The 6-foot-7 centre is averaging 18.6 points on 70.4 per cent shooting over the last five games.

Mabrey hit two free throws to make it 25-24 with 7:20 left in the second quarter and the Wings never again trailed. McCowan made a layup to stretch the lead to 74-60 — the biggest of the game — with 6:58 to play and Dallas held on.

The Wings missed their final 10 field-goal attempts, but made all eight of their free throws in the final 3 1/2 minutes to seal the win.

Kahleah Copper led Chicago with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Azura Stevens, Allie Quigley and Emma Meesseman each scored 14 points.

The defending WNBA champions, the Sky (23-8) had their franchise-record 10-game home win streak snapped. Chicago has a one-game lead over the Las Vegas Aces atop the league standings with less than two weeks left in the regular season.

Dallas moved 1 1/2 games ahead of the seventh-place Phoenix Mercury, but is one of six teams vying for the final three playoff spots.

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