The Sun (4-1) have won back-to-back games since their 77-70 loss at Los Angeles on May 31, a defeat they avenged with an 89-77 victory Thursday night. Jonquel Jones scored 18 points as Connecticut raced to a 12-point lead after a quarter but had to turn back a late Sparks challenge led by former Suns forward Chiney Ogwumike.
"I think it started at the end of the third when we weren't taking care of the basketball," Jones told the Hartford Courant after the Sun nearly squandered a 13-point lead in the final quarter. "When you do that you give a team an opportunity to get back into the game. They started hitting shots with our rotations and stuff. Them hitting shots and us turning over the ball is just a bad recipe for them to get back into the game."
Jones has gotten off to a fast start, averaging 17.0 points and 13.0 rebounds while posting three double-doubles. She has grabbed at least eight rebounds in every game and pulls down 4.4 offensive caroms per contest.
The Dream (1-3) have struggled to find their footing without injured star guard Angel McCoughtry and are looking to avoid a fourth straight defeat. Atlanta has been unable to step up against the better teams in the league, losing its previous three games by an average of 20.0 points after being routed 92-69 by Las Vegas on Thursday night.
Atlanta had no answer for Las Vegas' bigger frontcourt, getting outscored 46-22 in the paint while being outrebounded 47-33. Brittany Sykes scored 15 points off the bench and is expected to be available after tweaking her ankle in the second half.
"We're tired of losing," guard Alex Bentley said. "Everybody is tired of losing, but we've got a great group, so we're just going to stay positive, look in the mirror and see what each of us can do individually for our team."
Atlanta hast not lost four in a row since a nine-game skid from July 28-Aug. 19, 2017. The Dream swept the three-game season series in 2018, with McCoughtry averaging 20.0 points in those victories.