UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Alyssa Thomas scored 23 points, Jonquel Jones had 10 points and 14 rebounds and the Connecticut Sun beat the short-handed Washington Mystics 84-69 on Saturday night in the WNBA season-opener for both teams.
Washington was missing Elena Delle Donne, who sat out the opener with left knee soreness.
Even without their star, the Mystics kept it close until Connecticut went on a 13-2 run in the middle of the third quarter to take control. Jasmine Thomas hit a jumper to make it 48-45 at the 7:34 mark. That started the game-changing run.
The Suns led 67-53 after three quarters and by double figures throughout the fourth quarter.
Emma Meesseman, who has returned to the Mystics after playing in Belgium last season, scored 14 points. Natasha Cloud and Kristi Toliver added 11 apiece for the Mystics, who lost to Seattle in the WNBA Finals last season. Toliver got hurt in the game and sat out most of the second half with ice on her leg.
Taurasi medically cleared, must serve suspension
Phoenix Mercury star Diana Taurasi has been medically cleared to return from a lingering back issue, but she must serve a one-game suspension before playing.
Perhaps returning home to Staples Center will be what the Los Angeles Sparks need to halt their current rough patch.
Both the Las Vegas Aces and Phoenix Mercury will be at full strength Tuesday night in a game critical to their specific playoff ambitions as All-Stars A'ja Wilson and Brittney Griner are back in the fold for their respective teams.