Sun defeat Mercury as players hold 42-second moment of silence for Brittney Griner

Jonquel Jones had 14 points and 10 rebounds, Brionna Jones added 13 points and nine rebounds, and the Connecticut Sun beat the short-handed Phoenix Mercury 77-64 on Thursday night.

Connecticut started the fourth quarter on an 11-0 run to take control. Phoenix, which was without Diana Taurasi for the first time this season, struggled from the field after halftime, missing 13 consecutive shots to end the third quarter and five straight to start the fourth. The Mercury didn’t make their first field goal of the fourth until Sophie Cunningham’s long 3-pointer with 4:55 left.

Courtney Williams scored 11 points and Alyssa Thomas had nine points, 13 rebounds and six assists for Connecticut (22-10), which also beat Phoenix 87-63 on Tuesday.

Skylar Diggins-Smith scored 16 points, Diamond DeShields added 14, Shey Peddy had 13 and Cunningham 10 for Phoenix (13-19). Taurasi did not play due to a quad injury.

Before the game, players from both teams met at mid-court during a moment of silence for 42 seconds, which is Brittney Griner’s jersey number. Griner, a two-time U.S. Olympic champion and a eight-time all-star with the Mercury, was convicted Thursday in Russia of drug possession and smuggling and was sentenced to nine years behind bars. Connecticut coach Curt Miller wore a “WE ARE BG” t-shirt.

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