The Connecticut Sun looked unstoppable for long stretches of their single elimination playoff game against the visiting Phoenix Mercury.
From the opening tap, the Sun pushed the tempo, forced the issue on the interior, and bewildered the Mercury for most of the first half.
At one point, the Sun led 37-20 on the strength of high percentage field goal attempts, and a blue collar approach to the offensive and defensive backboard.
In fact, the Sun outrebounded Phoenix 39-29.
From that moment on, the superstar duo of Diana Taurasi, and Britney Griner took over the 1st round playoff, decimating the Sun inside and outside with ball screens, baselines screens, and straight isoloation, where Griner was too much of a problem for the Connecticut to handle.
After a slow start, Griner finished with 26 points, and 9 rebounds, including 12-14 from the free throw line.
Diana Taurasi meanwhile overcame a subpar shooting(2 for 8) night from beyond the arc to finish with 23 points on 50% shooting from the field.
The Mercury used the size of Griner, and the superior offensive skills of Taurasi to slow the game down, and pound Connecticut in the paint.
The Connecticut Sun played a whale of game, perhaps the best game they have played all season, but the inability to finish plays, convert 3 point field goal opportunities, and double effectively on Griner proved to be too much to handle.
The Sun also shot a dismal 4-16 from the three point line, and 15-24 from the free throw line, and still only lost by five, which implies the Sun lost this game more than the Mercury won it.
Despite the loss, the Connecticut Sun were in high spirits after the game.
The program is progressing, prior to the game Curt Miller was announced as the WNBA Coach of the year , and Jonquel Jones was honored as the most improved player in the league.
The Sun are young, but improving, and should be a strong contender to win a WNBA championship within the next couple years.
The Connecticut Sun were eliminated Sunday afternoon, but Curt Miller led franchise is headed in the right direction.