Sun aiming for 4th straight win, at Lynx (Jun 16, 2017)

BY AP • June 16, 2017

A season ago, the Connecticut Sun accounted for one-third of the Minnesota Lynx's six losses. They have just one more shot in 2017.

The two teams meet for the third and final time this season on Saturday at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

The Sun were 14-20 in 2016, but somehow figured out the league's best team, taking two of three from the Lynx. Minnesota was 27-4 against the rest of the league.

The 2017 version of the Sun, 4-5 after a 96-76 thrashing of New York on Wednesday, is looking for its fourth straight win.

"We are competing," Sun guard Courtney Williams told the Hartford Courant after the game. "It doesn't matter who is in front of us."

Williams led Connecticut with 22 points in the win.

Despite playing without Alex Bentley, who is playing in a European tournament with the Belarussian national team, and Chiney Ogwumike, who was lost for the season with an Achilles tendon injury, the Sun seem to be righting the ship after a 1-5 start.

"They are excited," Connecticut coach Curt Miller told the Courant. "I'm really pleased with the way we've played our last five games and I want to keep the momentum going."

Keeping it going will be a tough task.

Minnesota has beaten the Sun twice already this season and is seeking to push its record to 10-0.

"They fought through some injuries early on. ... They've just been dealing with a lot," Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said of the Sun, according to the team's website. "I think that the biggest thing is Alyssa Thomas' move to the (power forward position) as a result of those injuries. I think she is finding matchups that she likes there. They are scoring like crazy."

Thomas has scored 18 points and shot 50 percent from the field in each of the Sun's past three games.

The Sun lead the WNBA in 3-point shooting (41.1 percent) and made 15 of 32 against the Lynx in the first two meetings between the teams.

"I know the three ball, when they do shoot it, it's a really high percentage. You look at their shot chart, it's really impressive the percentage from three," Reeve said. "There are real matchup problems for us."

For the Lynx, this season is starting to look familiar: Minnesota won its first 13 games -- a WNBA record -- a year ago.

Lynx forward Rebekkah Brunson credits focus for the hot start.

"We don't want to be one of those teams that comes along as the season progresses, we want to be ready from the beginning of training camp moving forward," Brunson said of her team's undefeated start. "Every game is important to us. ... It's extremely important for us to come out and just play as well as you can from the beginning."

Saturday's game is the first of three on the road for Connecticut. The Sun will be in New York on Friday for a rematch with the Liberty.

Minnesota will host the Washington Mystics on Friday in what figures to be a match-up of first-place teams.


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