May 17, 2014

What seemed like a pipe dream two months ago is now a distinct possibility and a testament to never giving up.

The Connecticut Sun were buried as the losses mounted early in the season. But now a late push, Connecticut has won five of six games, and the Sun have a little pep to their step.

The Sun went 2-8 in their first 10 games and heading into the Olympics Games break they were 8-16 with a two-game winning streak.

Since returning from the Rio break, the Sun have continued to win and what was unthinkable in the heat of the summer is now a golden opportunity for Alex Bentley and Chiney Ogwumike.

Connecticut is tied for the eighth and final playoff spot with Seattle. On Sunday, the Sun can make a statement that they are for real, but standing directly in their way is the Minnesota Lynx with the league's best record (tied with Los Angeles) at 23-5.

Two of those losses came at the hands of the Sun, so Connecticut won't be intimidated when the two collide at 7 p.m. EDT at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

Back on July 7, the Sun overcame Lynx star Maya Moore's 40 points to post an overtime win. Then on Aug. 26, Moore was held to eight points as the Sun defeated the Lynx again.

That game seemed to give the Sun a shot of confidence heading into the season's homestretch.

In Friday's win, Ogwumike scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds against the Phoenix Mercury. Jasmine Thomas notched 18 points and Bentley added 16 points as the Sun were playing their first game since rookie Morgan Tuck, the third overall pick, was lost for the season because of a knee injury.

Tuck was the top reserve coming off the bench, averaging just under 17 minutes and 7.0 points per game.

Her loss will be felt, but Jonquel Jones and Courtney Williams picked up the slack and combined for 15 points and seven rebounds in the win over the Mercury.

As usual, Moore paced the Lynx against the pesky Mystics in a win on Friday. Moore scored 27, including 12 from the free-throw line.

But if it weren't for Sylvia Fowles, the Lynx might be trying to recover from an upset instead of trying to maintain hold on the best record in the league.

Fowles recorded 15 points and 17 rebounds, while piloting the defense that held Connecticut to less than 40 percent shooting from the field.

The Lynx won't take the Sun lightly, in fact, they will have revenge on their minds.

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