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WNBA: Sun shut down Sparks to grab 11th straight win, double bye

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Jonquel Jones scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as the Connecticut Sun got off to a fast start Thursday to extend their winning streak to 11 games with a 75-57 road victory over the Los Angeles Sparks.

Brionna Jones added 15 points for the Sun, who opened with a 17-0 lead on the way toward clinching a double bye in the playoffs.

Connecticut also moved one victory away from matching the longest winning streak in franchise history, set in the 2006 season.

The first-place Sun (23-6) now will move into a Saturday showdown with the Phoenix Mercury, who extended their own winning streak to 10 games with a victory over the Atlanta Dream on Wednesday.

Nneka Ogwumike tallied 12 points and seven rebounds for the Sparks (10-19), who lost their sixth consecutive game. Los Angeles fell a full game behind the eighth-place New York Liberty, who hold the final playoff spot with just over a week remaining in the season.

Led by their signature defense, the Sun rolled to the early double-digit lead, holding the Sparks without a point until Ogwumike cut inside for a layup nearly six minutes into the opening quarter.

Connecticut led 19-8 after one quarter by holding the Sparks to 30.8 percent (4 of 13) from the field and led 45-28 at halftime after holding a 20-9 rebounding advantage. The Sun finished with a 32-19 edge on the boards.

DeWanna Bonner scored 11 points and Jasmine Thomas added 10 as the Sun remained unbeaten since falling to the Indiana Fever on July 3. The Sun did lose 79-57 to the Seattle Storm in the Aug. 12 Commissioner’s Cup title game, which was not considered a regular-season game.

Nia Coffey also scored 12 points for the Sparks, who played their first home game since Aug. 19 and will conclude their home schedule Sunday against the Storm. Los Angeles is on the road for its final two games.

Both teams made 23 field goals, but the Sun were 26 of 29 from the free throw line while the Sparks were 9 of 11.

–Field Level Media

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