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WNBA: Brionna Jones, Sun cap first half with matchup vs. Liberty

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Connecticut Sun forward Brionna Jones will head to the WNBA All-Star Game for the first time in her career next week in Las Vegas.

But first, the former University of Maryland standout will try to help the Sun cap the first half with a win when they face the New York Liberty Sunday at Brooklyn.

Jones scored 16 points Friday as the Sun (13-6) defeated the Atlanta Dream 84-72 to clinch a spot in the Commissioner’s Cup championship game.

Jones is in the midst of the best season of her five-year pro career, averaging 15.4 points. And while she’s focused on winning Sunday, she is also excited about next week.

“You don’t make an all-star game every year,” Jones said. “Seeing my growth from my first season in Connecticut until now and seeing all the hard work I’ve put in pay off, I’m excited.”

The Liberty (10-10) are looking to bounce back after falling 82-69 to the Indiana Fever Friday night on the road.

It was the third game in a seven-day stretch for the Liberty, who had won two in a row before the loss.

But Liberty guard Sami Whitcomb said the team won’t use the wear and tear of the difficult stretch as an excuse.

“We are at the stage where everyone is tired, everyone is facing different challenges,” Whitcomb said. “For us as a group, that’s not an okay excuse to not play as hard as we need to play and not be focused.”

Whitcomb scored 10 in Friday’s loss to reach double figures for the 13th time this season. As of Saturday, she led the league in 3-pointers made (55) and will compete in the 3-point contest at the All-Star game.

New York and Connecticut are two of the most prolific 3-point shooting teams in the WNBA, with the Liberty knocking down a league-leading 203. The Sun have made 135.

The two teams are playing for the second time this season. The Sun beat the Liberty 85-64 on June 5.

–Field Level Media

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