Sun improving, Sparks rolling
NEW YORK >> Connecticut Sun coach Curt Miller knew his team might struggle in his first season on the bench.
Despite not having as many victories as he would like, Miller believes the future is bright for the Sun (6-16).
"This break will be good for our young group as it gives us a chance to teach and build for the future," Miller said. "The way the schedule has been packed in there hasn't been too much time to practice."
The Sun knocked off Minnesota and took Los Angeles to overtime before falling to the team with the best record in the WNBA. Connecticut was also right there with New York before faltering late. That's the top three teams in The Associated Press WNBA power poll .
"We're definitely improving, we just need to figure out a way to get over the hump more often," said Chiney Ogwumike.
The 2014 rookie of the year has been a big reason for the Sun's strong play lately. She's averaged 17.2 points and 8.7 rebounds over her last five games. Ogwumike sat out 2015 rehabilitating from microfracture surgery and is starting to play like her old self.
The Sun have been competitive in most of their games this season. They are 1-3 in overtime contests and have lost 11 by nine points or less.
POWER POLL: Los Angeles, Minnesota and New York have run away from the rest of the league. A look at this week's WNBA poll:
1. Los Angeles (20-2): The Sparks finally lost on the road after a record start. They close out the first part of the season with games at Indiana and Washington.
2. Minnesota (19-4): A couple games off to rest her knee and Seimone Augustus is looking refreshed.
3. New York (17-7): Five of the Liberty's seven losses have come against Los Angeles and Minnesota. Looks like they might have to beat both of them to win the title
4. Atlanta (12-11): A lost week turned around with a blowout of Los Angeles. Consistency has eluded the Dream this season.
5. Chicago (10-12): A last-second shot by Elena Delle Donne saved the Sky from a historic collapse. They want to reach .500 by the Olympic break.
6. Indiana (9-11): Tamika Catchings farewell tour will make its final regular season stop at Madison Square Garden on Thursday morning.
7. Phoenix (10-13): The Mercury have just one game this week and will have Diana Taurasi back in the lineup after she had to sit a game for technical foul accumulation.
8. Dallas (9-14): The break couldn't come at a better point for the Wings, who hope to have Glory Johnson back when it's over. She broke a toe and is out 4-to-6 weeks.
9. Washington (9-13): After a brutal road trip during which the Mystics went 0-5, they'll be happy to finish off the first part of their season with two home games against New York and Los Angeles.
10. Seattle (8-14): Showed resiliency down 25 points to Chicago before falling on a last-second shot. Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd have them in the playoff hunt.
11. Connecticut (6-16): Have played the top teams in the league tough, just don't have too many wins to show for it. Visit Dallas and Chicago this week.
12. San Antonio (5-17): The break can't come fast enough for the last place Stars. San Antonio has lost its last two games by a combined 43 points.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Elena Delle Donne is starting to show the form that won her the league's MVP last season. She averaged 24.7 points and 7.3 rebounds to help Chicago go 2-1 this week. She had a big 3-pointer over Breanna Stewart to stave off a crushing loss. She also surpassed the 2,000-point plateau becoming the third fastest player to reach that milestone. Other players receiving votes included Brittney Griner, Nneka Ogwumike and Maya Moore.
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