Delle Donne provides emotional lift for the Mystics

Delle Donne

Delle Donne"hasn't done anything athletic all week" said Mystics Coach General Manager Mike Thibault

The league's MVP has a herniated disk that is pinching a nerve in her back and was questionable to play in Game 3. Natasha Cloud was a thorn in Williams' side all game long, and played a big role in limiting her to just nine shots - well below her playoff average of 16.8. "It is what it is".

Seeing their star out there provided an emotional lift for the Mystics and Kristi Toliver and Emma Meesseman took care of the rest. Meesseman had 21 points, including 9 to start the fourth quarter, and Toliver added 20 points and 10 assists.

Delle Donne left the game for the final time with 2:10 to play, and the Mystics had a comfortable 14-point lead, but again, she remained on her feet.

Delle Donne, who has been snake-bitten by injuries and illnesses throughout her career, hadn't been on the court since leaving Tuesday's game early on.

The two teams are back in action when Game 4 takes place on Tuesday, as the Sun will look to force a decisive Game 5, which would take place in Washington on Thursday.

The 2019 WNBA MVP had no intention of letting her team lose on Sunday. But she returned a few minutes later. She went down to her knees for a loose ball just over five minutes into the game, was subbed out, and went straight to the tunnel.

The team said it was part of the plan to keep her back warm by having her stretch with the trainers instead of sitting on the bench. "She showed a lot of heart just being out there on the court today". Instead of practicing with her teammates this week, she's been nearly exclusively in the training room in hopes of returning to the court for the rest of the series. The team made 16 of 27 shots from behind the arc.

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Jonquel Jones converted a 3-point play to open the third quarter and cut the lead to 1, but that was as close as CT would get. He has also managed to clean the glass up nicely for the Mystics with a total of 8.3 rebounds a game and out of those she managed to get 1.5 of those on the offensive glass.

"And we really didn't know if I was going to be able to go today because I hadn't done anything until right up before the game".

Shekinna Stricklen and Jasmine Thomas each had 16 points for the Sun.

This was the first Finals game at the Mohegan Sun since they went to back-to-back in 2004 and 2005. When Delle Donne left the game soon after, she had done everything her team had needed her to do to move just one win away from its first WNBA title.

"She wants to win a championship bad enough that we've got another 40-some hours to recover, 50-some hours", Mystics coach Mike Thibault said.

"It's a little weird, " he said. "I haven't sat much these past couple of days". So I've been doing a lot of standing, a lot of core work, a lot of glute work. "So, the same feel is not there".

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