By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
The rematch produced the same result for the second consecutive year as the Connecticut Sun were eliminated at home by the Phoenix Mercury in the second round of the WNBA playoffs.
Phoenix scored 10 unanswered points over the final 2:32 in the fourth quarter to score a 96-86 win over the Sun last night at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Jonquel Jones finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and seven assists on 6-9 shooting from the field, but was 0-2 from beyond the arch. Connecticut also got 27 points and eight rebounds from Courtney Williams, 17 points from Alyssa Thomas and 14 points from Jasmine Thomas.
Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner each finished with 27 points to lead the Mercury while Dewanna Bonner added 23 points and 18 rebounds.
Taurausi continues her historic streak with a perfect 13-0 record in winner-take-all games.
Tied at 86, the Mercury got six points from Bonner and a pair of successful trips to the free throw line from Griner and Taurasi.
The Mercury will advance to the semifinals against either the top-seeded Seattle Storm or the second-seeded Atlanta Dream.
The Sun finished the season 1-3 in matchups against the Mercury.
Last year, the two teams met in the same round and the Mercury eliminated the Sun 88-83 on the road.
Jones concluded the season with a league-wide recognised award for the second consecutive season.
Prior to the second round matchup, she was named the 2018 WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year, earning the honour as the league’s top reserve for the first time in her three-year career.
Jones, who was voted last season as the 2017 WNBA Most Improved Player, becomes the first player to win both the Sixth Woman and Most Improved awards.
In honour of being named the WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year, Jones will receive $5,000 and a specially designed trophy by Tiffany and Co.
Jones received 20 votes from a national panel of 38 sportswriters and broadcasters who selected the award.
Jones averaged 11.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, a career-high 1.7 assists and 1.24 blocked shots per game this season. She tied for ninth in the WNBA in blocks and ranked fifth in field goal percentage (55.0) and second in three-point field goal percentage (46.7). With 50 three-pointers made, she surpassed her total from the previous two seasons combined (36). During the Sun’s 9-1 finish to the season, Jones averaged 18.5 points and 6.6 rebounds. That stretch included four games of 20 or more points for the 24-year-old Jones.
The Sun finished the regular season 21-13 for the second consecutive season