In a must-win situation, the Connecticut Sun responded in the best way possible, earning a 99-87 win over the Washington Mystics on Tuesday to tie the WNBA Finals at one game apiece.
Since the WNBA Finals adopted a best-of-five format, no team has come back from a 0-2 deficit, adding to the stakes of Tuesday night's game.
Connecticut was led by Jonquel Jones, Alyssa Thomas and Courtney Williams, a trio that did a little bit of everything in the crucial win. Jones, who had a relatively quiet performance in Game 1, was everything but quiet in Game 2 as she posted a monster stat line of 32 points (13-24 FG, 3-7 3FG), 18 rebounds (9 offensive) and three blocks in 33 minutes of action.
A menace on both sides of the ball 💯@jus242 puts up a ridiculous line of 32 PTS, 18 REB & 3 BLK in the Game 2 win! #WatchMeWork #WNBAFinals pic.twitter.com/se3ONp2cOZ- WNBA (@WNBA) October 2, 2019
Thomas, who played the entirety of Game 1, again played all 40 minutes in Game 2, finishing with 21 points, 12 rebounds (6 offensive) and six assists in the game. Williams scored 22 points on the night and added six assists as well.
The Sun outrebounded the Mystics 41-27, thanks to 17 offensive rebounds that resulted in 28 second chance points.
Washington couldn't overcome the absence of league MVP Elena Delle Donne, who exited just three minutes into the first quarter with back spasms.
Elena Delle Donne went to the locker room early in the first quarter.- espnW (@espnW) October 2, 2019
She is suffering from back spasms and is questionable to return. pic.twitter.com/6ty90YKbmY
Without their MVP, the Mystics struggled defensively - as evidenced by the big performance by Jones - and couldn't quite find the rhythm on the offensive end. In Delle Donne's absence, it was the bench that got it done, as Washington's reserves scored 52 of the team's 87 points led by a team-high 23 points from Emma Meesseman.
With Delle Donne out, the Mystics' other four starters combined to score just 35 points on 14-for-36 (38.9%) shooting.
Per Matt Ellentuck of SBNation, Mystics head coach Mike Thibault indicated that Delle Donne will undergo an MRI on Wednesday to determine the severity of her back injury. Washington was 0-3 in the three games that Delle Donne missed in the 2019 regular season.
Delle Donne will have some time to recover as the series resumes Sunday when things shift to Connecticut for Games 3 and 4.