Washington, D.C. - It was an attention-getter, if nothing else. Or maybe just another example of how the narrative so often changes in sports.
But in a week's time, the Connecticut Sun exasperated their fans with an infuriating home loss to Seattle ... and then captivated them with a victory at defending WNBA champion Minnesota, where the Lynx had been unbeaten.
And so before you could wonder, "how could they?" after the loss to Seattle, the same wonderment is reserved for the latest question: "So when do the finals start?"
Reality, as it usually does, hovers between. And for now, it's at the Verizon Center, where the Sun and Washington Mystics play a matinee today as the first of two games in as many days. Tipoff today is 11:30 a.m., followed by a 7 p.m. game Wednesday at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Connecticut (12-4) leads the Eastern Conference by 2.5 games over Indiana less than a week before the Olympic break. The Sun are a win shy of tying Minnesota for best record in the league.
Their season has been largely consistent, save the hiccup at home against Seattle. They responded with wins at Tulsa and Minnesota on consecutive days over the weekend.
Not bad, considering the Lynx were a bit ornery heading into that game, losers of two straight. And that the Sun had played in Tulsa the night before.
"We were up against it," Sun guard Kara Lawson said. "We were coming to play a team that had lost a couple in a row that was feeling like they needed to get back on track. And then of course you mention the fact that they've been the team with the best record in the league all year long, us with an opportunity now to tie them with that record and kind of assert ourselves and create some space in the East."
Sun coach Mike Thibault saw so need to seek philosophy to explain a win that could help the Sun earn homecourt if the teams are to meet again in the finals.
"I didn't have enough time to screw them up between games," he said.
Lawson scored 22 points, continuing perhaps the greatest season in the WNBA. Lawson is averaging 14.5 points per game, trailing only Cappie Pondexter, Becky Hammon, Kristi Toliver and Katie Douglas among WNBA guards in points per game.
Tina Charles, recently named the WNBA Player of the Month for June and named Player of the Week on Monday, had 19 points and 15 rebounds. Charles, in an 18-for-57 shooting funk in her previous four games, made 19 of 33 shots over the weekend.
It underscored the season to date. The Sun have among the league's most consistent point guards (Lawson), an MVP candidate (Charles), Coach of the Year candidate (Thibault) and Most Improved Player candidate (Allison Hightower).
The Sun arrived in Washington before the Mystics, who traveled most of the day Monday from Tulsa, where they lost Sunday. The Mystics are 3-12.
"I'd rather we didn't look at their record, but more importantly, how they've played against us," Thibault said. "Washington always plays hard. And both games we've played against them (Connecticut is 2-0) have been hard. This is an energy week. Three games in four days before the break. We need to play with energy."