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Alyssa Thomas returns from injury to lead Sun past Aces

Alyssa Thomas, knocked out of Game 2 two days ago by a dislocated shoulder, made a surprise start and led the Connecticut Sun to a 77-68 victory over the Las Vegas Aces on Thursday night for a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five semifinal series.

Thomas scored 23 points on 10-of-21 shooting and had 12 rebounds. She pushed the Sun to victory in the closing minutes, scoring eight points in the final three minutes, the last basket coming after a steal with 45 seconds remaining for a seven-point edge.

Thomas was injured midway through the first quarter Tuesday night in a loss and was listed as out before her status was changed to questionable Thursday.

Las Vegas Aces forward Angel McCoughtry (35) looks to pass as she is guarded by Connecticut Sun forward DeWanna Bonner (24) and center Brionna Jones (42) during the second half of Game 3 of a WNBA basketball semifinal round playoff series Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP PhotoChris O'Meara)

Thomas scored 13 points in the first half when the Sun took a 38-32 lead but just two in the third period when the Aces rallied to go up 56-53 heading into the final period.

Brionna Jones had 15 points and 10 rebounds, and DeWanna Bonner 12 points and 10 boards for the Sun. It's the first time in league postseason history a team had three players with double-doubles in points and rebounds. Bonner moved up to 12th in career playoff points, passing Taj McWilliams-Franklin.

A’ja Wilson led the Aces with 20 points and 12 rebounds, and Angel McCoughtry added 16 points. Las Vegas had 15 turnovers to four for the Sun, who won despite going 1 of 11 from 3-point range.

Las Vegas Aces forward Angel McCoughtry (35) reacts as she fouls out during the second half of Game 3 of a WNBA basketball semifinal round playoff series against the Connecticut Sun Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP PhotoChris O'Meara)

The Sun will try to wrap up the series Sunday.

The Connecticut Sun bench celebrates during the second half of Game 3 of a WNBA basketball semifinal round playoff series against the Las Vegas Aces Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP PhotoChris O'Meara)

Connecticut Sun center Brionna Jones (42) goes up for a shot against Las Vegas Aces center Carolyn Swords (4) and guard Danielle Robinson (35) during the second half of Game 3 of a WNBA basketball semifinal round playoff series Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP PhotoChris O'Meara)

Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas (25) shoota against the Las Vegas Aces during the second half of Game 3 of a WNBA basketball semifinal round playoff series Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP PhotoChris O'Meara)

Connecticut Sun guard Jasmine Thomas (5) runs into Las Vegas Aces forward Angel McCoughtry (35) during the second half of Game 3 of a WNBA basketball semifinal round playoff series Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP PhotoChris O'Meara)

Connecticut Sun guard Jasmine Thomas (5) shoots after driving past Las Vegas Aces guard Danielle Robinson (3) and forward Angel McCoughtry (35) during the second half of Game 3 of a WNBA basketball semifinal round playoff series Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP PhotoChris O'Meara)

Connecticut Sun forward DeWanna Bonner (24) shoots against Las Vegas Aces forward Angel McCoughtry during the second half of Game 3 of a WNBA basketball semifinal round playoff series Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP PhotoChris O'Meara)

Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas (25) grabs a loose ball away from Las Vegas Aces guard Danielle Robinson (3) during the second half of Game 3 of a WNBA basketball semifinal round playoff series Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP PhotoChris O'Meara)