DeWanna Bonner and Briann January combined for 42 points Sunday, propelling the Connecticut Sun to an 86-78 win over the Phoenix Mercury, their former team.
Bonner led all scorers with 27 points at Mohegan Sun while January, who starred in college at Arizona State, had a key steal, hit a critical jumper in the closing seconds and scored 15.
The Sun improved to 2-0 with the Mercury falling to 1-1.
Diana Taurasi made consecutive 3-pointers to put the Mercury ahead 68-66 with 5:41 remaining.
Skylar Diggins-Smith converted a tough 3-point to build the Phoenix lead to five, which the Sun promptly erased for 71-71.
Kia Nurse made a pull-up 15-footer with three minutes left for a two-point Mercury lead. Jonquel Jones made two tying free throws then Bonner hit a wing 3-pointer and made two free throws at 1:50 for a 78-73 Sun lead.
Center Brittney Griner fouled out with 1:44 left after a steal by Briann January at the Mercury end. January made two free throws for 80-73.
The Mercury closed back within three (80-77). January hit a pull-up 18-footer with 51.4 seconds left and Brionna Jones’ follow at 20.1 iced the Sun victory.
Taurasi finished with 19 points, Diggins-Smith 18 and Griner 16.
In addition to Bonner and January, Natisha Hiedeman had 17 and Jonquel Jones 14 and 13 rebounds for Connecticut.
Taurasi picked up her fourth foul at 5:38 of the third quarter during a Sun run that expanded a four-point halftime lead to 13 (52-39).
The Mercury regrouped with Taurasi on the bench and Griner more active offensively, cutting their deficit to 59-52 going into the fourth quarter.
Sun with 13-0 run to lead at half
The biggest run of the first half belonged to Connecticut.
Trailing 21-13 after consecutive Mercury transition layups, the Sun ratcheted up their defense following a timeout. They outscored Phoenix 13-0 over the final 2:24 of the first quarter and 2:51 of the second including three consecutive 3-pointers by Bonner, Hiedeman and Jonquel Jones.
The Sun led by seven points (33-26) on another Bonner trey with 2:40 left in the second.
Megan Walker hit a 3-point for the Mercury and Taurasi made four free throws in the final 38 seconds, cutting the Sun lead to 37-33 at halftime.
Taurasi had nine points and Diggins-Smith seven in the first half but Griner only two.
Bonner had 18 in the first half.
The Mercury conclude their three-game, season-opening road trip at Washington (0-1) on Tuesday. The Mystics lost 70-56 to Chicago on Saturday.
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