Los Angeles Sparks 81, Connecticut Sun 76 — DeWanna Bonner went nuts for Connecticut, throwing together a 34 point, 14 rebound, six assist performance, but it wasn’t enough as the Sun took the five point loss to Los Angeles on Thursday night.
It was a close game, for the most part, which leaves Sun fans wondering if their team would have gotten their first win of the year if Bonner had gotten any notable offensive help. Alyssa Thomas shot 2-for-12 to get to 10 points on the night, while Jasmine Thomas went 3-for-12 to contribute 11 points. They are the #2 and #3 scorers on the night for Connecticut, and that’s how you end up with loss #3 on the season. AT did add 18 rebounds and eight assists, so it’s not like she wasn’t finding ways to help, but the scoring issue is the big one for the Sun right now.
The quarter-by-quarter scores along with the final make it look like a pretty close game, and it really was. But the game was pretty much decided when Los Angeles was able to grab a 10 point lead early in the fourth quarter and maintain it for the majority of the final 10 minutes.
Marquette’s own Natisha Hiedeman played 17 minutes off the bench, the most of any Connecticut sub in this one. Unfortunately, she contributed to the Sun shooting just 36% from the field with a 1-for-7 performance that left her with just two points and a rebound on the night.
Los Angeles Lakers 103, LA Clippers 101 — Turns out that LeBron James chap is good at the basketball playing. His tip-in of his own miss with less than 13 seconds to go was the difference in the 2020 NBA Restart opener for both teams as the Lakers got the win over the Clippers.
We’re Clippers-focused here since Marquette grad Doc Rivers is running the sidelines for that LA franchise, so we have to point out the good news and the bad news for him. The good news is that the Clips gave the first place Lakers everything they could handle with Lou Williams in quarantine and Montrezl Harrell outside the bubble for a family matter. The bad news is that the Clippers were the team in second place, and now the Lakers have a six and a half game lead on Doc’s squad for the top seed in the Western Conference with seven games left to play.
Doc got 28/3/4 from Kawhi Leonard to lead the way in their first game action since March, but the Lakers, specifically James, were able to force the ball to Paul George in the closing seconds. George had a great game overall, scoring 30 points while adding five rebounds and three assists, but you can’t help but wonder if the Clippers would have tied it up and forced OT if it was Leonard taking that final shot instead of George forcing up an off-balance jumper.
Up Next: The Sun will return to action on Saturday afternoon. It’s already time for a rematch in their still very young season, as they’ll face Minnesota, the team Connecticut lost to in their season opener, with tip off set for 3pm Central on NBA TV. The Clippers will be off until Saturday as well. They’ll get a crack at the New Orleans Pelicans in a 5pm CT tip on ESPN.