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May 29—MOHEGAN — The Connecticut Sun had one of those games Friday night that’s as pleasurable as a root canal while enduring it, but one that everyone appreciates later because it tested their will.

Connecticut had a 12-point lead evaporate late in the third quarter as it was hit with one foul after the next, including three offensive fouls in the final three minutes of the quarter, and fell behind.

The Sun fought through those struggles and toughed out an 86-81 WNBA win over the Washington Mystics before 2,102 at Mohegan Sun Arena.

“You take games like this and they pay off later down the road,” Sun guard Jasmine Thomas said. “To be able to win close games, to be able to win ugly games, that’s what you take from it.”

DeWanna Bonner gave Connecticut a much-needed pick-me-up after its maddening third quarter. Her layup and pullup jumper put the Sun ahead for good, 66-63, with 9 minutes, 11 seconds remaining. It also started a 13-6 run.

Bonner’s jumper and layup extended the Sun’s lead to 75-69 with 4:46 remaining.

Jonquel Jones had 20 points, 12 rebounds and five assists for Connecticut (6-1) and Bonner added 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Thomas had a season-high 19 points and rookie reserve DiJonai Carrington scored 10 for the Sun, which shot 50 percent from the floor.

“Sometimes you have to win ugly,” Sun head coach Curt Miller said. “As hard as both teams played, it was at times an ugly game tonight, but you have to try to win those games and try to win them at home.”

Tina Charles had 29 points and eight rebounds for Washington (2-4) and Myisha Hines-Allen had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Ariel Atkins also scored 20.

Connecticut has been beating teams with its tenacity on the boards, especially on the offensive glass. The Mystics outrebounded the Sun, 33-32. That included a 9-to-6 edge in offensive boards.

“They were the most physical (team) against us all season,” Miller said. “(They) really challenged to stretch us.”

Connecticut had taken a 62-50 lead with 4:16 left in the third quarter when things unraveled for a time.

Reserve Beatrice Mompremier had entered to give Brionna Jones a rest. She was called for three fouls in 1:21, the latter an offensive foul.

Jones came back in the game for Mompremier and was called for back-to-back offensive fouls, her fourth and fifth, in successive possessions and had to leave the game.

Washington, meanwhile, went on a 13-0 run. Hines-Allen finished it with a putback with 6.7 seconds left to give the Mystics a 63-62 lead.

“We fouled too much,” Miller said. “I want us to stop fouling. I love the aggressiveness at times. I love how hard we play but we have to be more disciplined.”

The Sun used the three to help them pull through. They made a season-high 11 with Thomas making four of five.

Thomas’ final three came with 2:10 remaining to push Connecticut ahead, 78-74.

“D.C., we knew coming in, is a team that just really likes to crowd the paint,” Jonquel Jones said. “They tried to force us to make a lot of outside shots and (Thomas) was ready and she stepped up. Those are important. We need that. We need that in order for us to open up the paint and allow post players more space to work.”

Washington led 8-0 and 20-9 in the first quarter. It shot just 31.4 percent in the second half.

“We got such a hot start and kind of put them on their heels, but they’re really good at home,” Mystics head coach Mike Thibault said about the Sun. “They’re really good defensively. Part of it [Washington’s shooting struggles] was their pressure. Part of it was just us.”