Published November 20, 2014
Tina Charles made a 12-footer with 5 seconds left in overtime, and the shot clock about to expire, to lift the Connecticut Sun to a 96-95 win over the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday.
Renee Montgomery scored 28 points, Asjha Jones had 27 and Charles finished with 23 points and 17 rebounds to help the Sun (13-7) win their third straight and seventh in the last eight.
"That was an unbelievable onslaught by both teams at different stretches," Sun coach Mike Thibault said. " One team would get a run and the then the next team would get a run. ... But, our top three scorers came through and Kara (Lawson) came off the bench and hit some big 3s."
Lawson made two 3-pointers and finished with nine points to help the Sun improve to 5-6 on the road.
"It's good just to have a win, period, on the road," Montgomery said. "We've been struggling on the road and to come and get two of three on the West Coast is good for us."
Diana Taurasi scored 29 points, and DeWanna Bonner added 24 points and 11 rebounds for the Mercury (11-9), who have lost five of six. Candice Dupree had 10 points and 12 rebounds, and Nakia Sanford added nine points and nine rebounds.
Taurasi, who also had eight rebounds and six assists, missed a jumper and Dupree missed a 14-footer at the buzzer.
"We had a lull where we couldn't score the ball," Mercury coach Corey Gaines said. "It wasn't that we weren't trying, we just couldn't hit a shot. They hit some shots and we got some more stops. In the fourth quarter, I don't think we got to the line."
Bonner's layup off a turnover on the inbounds pass with 0.9 seconds remaining in regulation forced overtime. She hit a 3-pointer with 59 seconds left in the extra period to give Phoenix a 95-92 lead but missed a 3 with 30 seconds left, giving Connecticut the ball.
"I think the difference might have been just getting some stops," Montgomery said. "The whole game it felt like we were trading baskets back-and-forth, so it came down to who was going to get more stops."
Bonner's 25-footer from the top of the key tied the game at 80 with 3:16 remaining in regulation but Montgomery scored four points down the stretchto give the Sun a 84-82 lead. The Mercury then missed three shots on their next possession, losing the ball out of bounds with 3.9 seconds left.
"Throughout the game I think there are little things that we need to take care of," Taurasi said. "Probably shouldn't have been that close because I thought we were playing at a pretty good level. We played really hard ... we did a lot of good things. But you can play as hard as you want, if you play stupid it doesn't matter."
Jones scored 13 points in the third, including four during an 11-0 run to close the period, to give Connecticut a 69-64 lead heading to the fourth.
Taurasi scored 16 points in the first half, including 11 in the first quarter, to help the Mercury to a 46-41 lead at the break.
The Mercury were playing for the first time since trading starting center Kara Braxton after she was suspended one game by the team for "conduct detrimental to the team."
Mercury coach Corey Gaines declined on Sunday to explain the reasons behind the team's move.
Braxton was traded on Thursday to the New York Liberty for fourth-year pro Sidney Spencer, two days after Braxton was suspended by the team for the Mercury's 90-73 loss to Minnesota.
Spencer, who missed her last three games for the Liberty due to a strained back, did not play on Sunday.