Sun return home to face Liberty


The last time the Connecticut Sun and New York Liberty saw each other, Shekinna Stricklen converted a rare 4-point play at the buzzer to give Connecticut an 88-86 road victory over New York.

It was the first buzzer-beating 4-point play in WNBA history and the NBA hasn't had one since Ray Allen did it in 2012.

The win was the sixth in the first seven games for the Sun, who have gone just 4-8 in 12 games since, capped by a 1-3 trip west. They return home for a Wednesday morning (11:30) game against the struggling Liberty at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

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Monday, the Sun (10-9) made a move they hope will bolster their season, shipping Alex Bentley to the Atlanta Dream for All-Star Layshia Clarendon and a second-round pick in next year's draft.

"We are excited about obtaining Layshia," general manager and coach Curt Miller said. "She's a talented and savvy guard with a great reputation as a leader on and off the court. She was thrilled when we spoke, and can't wait to arrive in Connecticut."

Clarendon, one of six WNBA players to record 200 assists in a season, came off the bench in 14 of her 18 games this season. Bentley also was coming off the Sun bench.

From the Hartford Courant Monday: "According to WNBAinsidr, Bentley and Sun guard Courtney Williams were in a 'physical altercation,' which is why Williams hasn't been with the team recently despite the Sun referring to her absence as being for 'personal reasons.' The incident allegedly occurred some time between June 27 and July 1."

While the Sun closed their road trip with a 94-90 loss at Las Vegas, the Liberty (5-14) fell by 10 at home to Dallas, their third straight loss and eighth in the last nine games.

Wednesday marks the latest return to Connecticut by former UConn star Tina Charles, the 2012 WNBA Most Valuable Player with the Sun. She sought a trade to go home to New York in 2014, but things have not worked out as planned -- and this is another bad season for the Liberty.

New York has been eliminated in one playoff game each of the last two years, and it will take a turnaround to even make it to the postseason in 2018.

"I haven't been on a team where I have other Olympians," Charles told Deadspin recently. "I believe in every player that's on this team, so for me, I don't see it as a challenge. That's just what I've always known... I can't think about, 'what if I was on this team, or what if I had these (teammates).' I can't think about that in the midst of what I have right now, this is the moment I'm in."

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