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WNBA playoffs: Alyssa Thomas’ 26 points lead Sun over Sky; Mercury beat Mystics at buzzer

Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas goes up for a shot in front of Chicago Sky forward Cheyenne Parker.
Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas goes up for a shot in front of Chicago Sky forward Cheyenne Parker during the second half on Tuesday in Bradenton, Fla.
(Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associated Press)

Alyssa Thomas had 26 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists, DeWanna Bonner added 23 points and 12 boards, and the seventh-seeded Connecticut Sun beat the No. 6 seed Chicago Sky 94-81 on Tuesday night in the opening game of the playoffs.

Connecticut will play either third-seeded Los Angeles or No. 4 seed Minnesota on Thursday in another single-elimination round.

Thomas beat the halftime buzzer with a hook shot in the lane to tie it at 41, and Connecticut started the second half on a 13-2 run with six points from Jasmine Thomas. Chicago was outscored 27-11 in the game-changing quarter.

Brionna Jones added 12 points and eight rebounds for Connecticut, which overcome a franchise-worst 0-5 start to the season. The Sun had a 40-21 advantage on the glass.

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Allie Quigley scored 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting, Kahleah Copper added 17 points and Gabby Williams had 16 for Chicago. Courtney Vandersloot had 12 points and six assists.

It was a memorable season for Vandersloot, who became the first player in WNBA history to average 10 assists per game after totaling 220 in the shortened 22-game regular season.

Mercury 85, Mystics 84

Shey Peddy made a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to give the Phoenix Mercury an 85-84 come-from-behind victory over the defending champion Washington Mystics on Tuesday night in the first round of the playoffs.

Fifth-seeded Phoenix moves on to play No. 4 seed Minnesota on Thursday in the second round.

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Washington guard Leilani Mitchell went 1 of 2 from the free-throw line with 5.8 seconds to go for an 84-82 lead. After a timeout, Diana Taurasi inbounded it to Skylar Diggins-Smith, who drove the lane and lofted a pass over the defense across the court to the corner. Peddy pump-faked it to get her defender in the air and calmly beat the buzzer.

Peddy, who was cut by Washington earlier this season, finished with 12 points for Phoenix. Diggins-Smith had 24 points, six rebounds and five assists and Taurasi, who improved to 7-0 in single-elimination playoff games, added 23 points. The Mercury went on a 17-0 run over a five-minute span for a 78-73 lead.

Mitchell led Washington with 25 points, and Emma Meesseman added 18.

Meesseman’s steal and fast-break layup capped a 5-0 run to give Washington a 83-82 lead with 38.8 seconds left. And after a timeout, Myisha Hines-Allen drew an offensive foul on Diggins-Smith for Phoenix’s third straight possession with a turnover.

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