PHOENIX -- The other shoe finally dropped on Connecticut in the last 4 1/2 minutes.
It's the size 15 that always seems to find the throat of a losing team in the end, and this one carried with it elimination from WNBA playoff consideration for last year's Eastern Conference regular-season champions.
Duwanna Bonner's 3-pointer with 4:23 left put Phoenix ahead for good as it solidified its grasp on a Western Conference playoff berth with a 76-68 win on Saturday night in front of 8,119 at US Airways Arena.
It was the seventh straight loss for the Sun (7-22), which officially begins playing out the string on Friday night at Mohegan Sun against Washington. All seven losses have been by at least eight points, although this one carried more sting than the rest.
Connecticut led 64-62 when Bonner drained her 3-pointer that started a game-ending 14-4 run. The Sun made just 2-of-7 shots from the field during that span, the second a meaningless layup by Tan White with 5.8 seconds left to finish the scoring.
Candice Dupree scored a game-high 22 points for the Mercury (15-13) and Bonner finished with 20. Diana Taurasi narrowly missed a triple-double with 10 points, seven rebounds and eight assists.
Tina Charles led Connecticut with 16 points and 13 rebounds but made just 7-of-23 shots from the floor. White contributed 14 points and Iziane Castro-Marques came off the bench to score 11.
The Sun's inability to make shots was costly as it was a miserable 29-of-82 overall and 3-of-19 from the 3-point line.