The quest for that elusive first 2020 victory for the Connecticut Sun continues.
With the Seattle Storm standing in the way of accomplishing that feat, things don't expect to be easy for the Sun on Tuesday night at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
Connecticut (0-4) knew it would be rather difficult to achieve consistent success with star forward Jonquel Jones opting out of the season. However, the Sun are now in danger of opening with five straight losses for the first time in franchise history.
They rank near the bottom of the WNBA averaging 75.8 points, shooting 37.7 percent and also give up 82.5 per contest. It's an abrupt reality for the Sun, who enjoyed a special 23-11 season and trip to the WNBA Finals in 2019.
Despite 28 points from DeWanna Bonner (27.5 points per game, 8.8 rebounds per game), the Sun shot just 35 percent, committed 16 turnovers and were outrebounded 40-27 in a 78-69 loss to Minnesota on Saturday. If there was any good news to offer Connecticut, it was competitive against the Lynx and tied the game at 65-65 with just under 7 minutes to play. However, Minnesota scored the next 11 points and the Sun failed to score for over the final five-plus minutes of the contest.
"We played hard again," coach Curt Miller told the Sun's official website. "We're tired. A little bit defeated, mentally.
"We know we're close. We've just got to string together two halves."
The Sun took all three games from Seattle (3-1) last season, but extending that winning streak would seem like a tall order at the moment. With superstars Breanna Stewart (18 ppg, 9.3 rpg) and Sue Bird (10.7 ppg) back in the mix, the Storm have looked good out the gate in the "Wubble."
Stewart had 21 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four steals as Seattle led from start to finish in an 81-75 victory over Los Angeles on Saturday. Teammate Jewel Lloyd (11.3 ppg) scored 17 as the Storm hit half of their 62 shots and held the Sparks to 38.7 percent shooting to bounce back from an 89-71 loss to defending champion Washington.
"We dug in and a got a couple of stops when we had to get them and we went down and got a couple buckets mixed in there," coach Gary Kloppenburg told the Storm's official website. "We were able to kind of scratch this one out."
Bird sat out the Saturday win over Los Angeles to rest. It's assumed she will be back on the floor for this contest.