Looking to end the worst start in franchise history, the Connecticut Sun again seek their first win in the "wubble" Thursday when they face the Dallas Wings.
Last year's WNBA runners-up, the Sun are 0-5 for the first time in history dating back to when the franchise entered the league in 1999 as the Orlando Miracle. While Connecticut did retool in the offseason, the absence of Jonquel Jones has loomed large despite the best efforts of offseason acquisition DeWanna Bonner.
The Sun have been competitive but absorbed their first double-digit loss of the year Tuesday, falling 87-74 to Seattle. Brionna Jones scored 18 of her 20 points in the first half and Alyssa Thomas added 14 and 13 rebounds, but a pair of spurts ' one 13-0 to end the third quarter and 11-0 in the fourth ' proved too much to overcome.
Sun coach Curt Miller, though, continues to take the glass half-full approach as Jones has stepped up her offensive game.
"There was a conscious effort to get her the ball. We did a good job at times," he told the Hartford Courant after seeing his team rack up 22 assists on 30 baskets. "A really good game again. You're seeing Bri Jones now has scored two times in the first five games 15 or more points, so she's very, very capable and (I'm) proud that the first half that she had, we really went to her."
Despite shooting a season-best 43.5 percent in Tuesday's loss, the Sun are struggling offensively. They are ahead of only fellow winless squad New York in scoring (75.4 ppg) and shooting (38.9%).
Dallas (2-3) is looking to avoid a third consecutive defeat after losing 82-79 to Chicago on Tuesday. Arike Ogunbowale scored 26 points, but rookie Satou Sabally lost possession in the closing seconds as the Wings failed to get a potential game-winning shot off.
Like Miller, Wings counterpart Brian Agler is emphasizing the positives to his young team. Ogunbowale, the runner-up to the WNBA Rookie of the Year in 2019, has scored 20 or more points in three of her last four games.
"I'm really satisfied with how we're moving in the right direction," Agler told the Dallas Morning News. "We're going toe-to-toe with some of these teams."
Sabally, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, has struggled offensively in her last two games, totaling 20 points on 5-of-19 shooting after scoring a season-best 23 in the win over Indiana on Friday.
Ogunbowale scored at least 20 points in all three matchups with the Sun last season, including 32 in a 102-72 loss at Connecticut in the rubber game of their season series.