Sales, Jones lead Sun to victory over Sting

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Nykesha Sales scored 15 points, Asjha Jones added 14 and the Connecticut Sun beat the Charlotte Sting 90-66 on Tuesday night to regain sole possession of the Eastern Conference lead.

Sales, questionable going into the game because of a sore hip, scored all of her points in the first half to help the Sun (8-3) build a 20-point lead. Connecticut, which shot 53 percent and held a 41-24 rebounding advantage, snapped a two-game losing streak to move a half-game ahead of Washington and Indiana.

It was the Sun's eighth straight win over Charlotte.

"Part of it is matchups. We get good defensive matchups against them," Connecticut coach Mike Thibault said. "If I had the magic formula for it, I'd try to figure it out for all the other games, too, but it's been that way for a couple of years now."

Trailing 12-7, the Sun went on a 22-4 run bridging the first and second quarters, capped by Jones' layup with 7:25 left. Sales' 3-pointer with 1:27 to go made it 42-25.

Sheri Sam scored 15 points for the Sting (2-8), who committed 17 turnovers in losing their fourth straight game overall. Charlotte has lost three games to Connecticut this season by a combined 66 points.

"It was a waste to go on the court, we had no heart," said Sting coach Muggsy Bogues, 5-15 since taking over the team late last season. "We need to find five people who want to play basketball, that's what I'm looking for.

"Things are not going as I thought they would go. I thought this was a different group, a better group. For some odd reason they have no chemistry."

Sales, who was held to a season-low nine points in Connecticut's loss at Los Angeles on Saturday, sat out the final 15 minutes to rest her hip.

"It felt OK," Sales said. "It got stiff, and halftime didn't help, but I got four or five hours of treatment today. I've got to beat it down now before it gets worse."

The Sun, in the middle of a stretch of five games in eight days, played mostly reserves in the second half and were still able to take a 30-point lead in the fourth quarter. Six players scored in double figures.

Sting center Tammy Sutton-Brown returned after missing two games with a bruised right knee and had eight points. Point guard Helen Darling missed her third straight game with a strained right hamstring.