Jasmine Thomas led the seventh-seeded Connecticut Sun to an 87-62 upset of the top-seeded Las Vegas Aces on Sunday in Game 1 of the WNBA Semifinals in Bradenton, Fla.
Thomas played one of the best games of her career, finishing with 31 points on 13-of-18 shooting. She scored 22 in the first half alone, the most points in a playoff first half since 2011.
Playing their first game in over a week, the Aces looked extremely rusty against the Sun's excellent defense. Only 2020 WNBA MVP A'ja Wilson (19 points, nine rebounds) and Jackie Young (17 points) managed to score in double figures.
The Aces, who averaged 23 points in the first quarter this season, scored only 10 in the first 10 minutes -- tied for their lowest amount of any quarter all season.
It got better in the second quarter, but not by much. Las Vegas finished the first half with only 25 points on 26 percent shooting.
While Las Vegas struggled to get going, Thomas was putting on a clinic. She had the same number of field goals (nine) as the entire Aces lineup in the first half.
Her best stretch came at the end of the second quarter, when she scored seven points on three straight possessions to put Connecticut up by double digits. The Sun went into the break leading 36-25.
Connecticut did this despite DeWanna Bonner playing below her usual standards, missing her first 10 shots of the game. But by the time she hit her first two baskets in the middle of the third, the Sun's lead was 20 points.
Connecticut kept extending the lead as the game continued, reaching a lead of 30 points at one point in the fourth quarter.
Alyssa Thomas had 18 points and five steals and Natisha Hiedeman added 14 points for the Sun.
Game 2 of the best-of-five series will be played Tuesday.
--Field Level Media