Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas is not going to win the MVP award this season, but historic performances like the one she put on on Tuesday night in a 90-76 win over the Los Angeles Sparks are why she belongs in the conversation. She was, simply put, unstoppable.
Thomas finished with 27 points, 12 rebounds, 14 assists and six steals on 11-of-14 from the field to record her sixth triple-double of the season and extend her WNBA records in that department. She has both the single-season record and the all-time mark with eight. To put that in perspective, it took until 2017 — 21 seasons — for the sixth triple-double in league history to happen; Thomas has six triple-doubles in 38 games this season.
In addition, in yet another reminder of her unique versatility, Thomas became the first player ever to have at least 25 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and five steals in a game. No one else had even done it with 20 points. To do that as a forward who doesn’t shoot outside of the paint is simply remarkable.
If all of that wasn’t enough, Thomas also surpassed Courtney Vandersloot for the all-time single-season total assists record. After Tuesday’s game, Thomas now has 304 assists, just ahead of Vandersloot’s 300 in 2019. It’s worth noting that Vandersloot did that in 33 games, while it’s taken Thomas 38, but it’s still an impressive accomplishment.
From a seeding perspective this game didn’t mean anything for the Sun, who were already locked into the No. 3 seed. But it will be good for their confidence after they were crushed by the Liberty their last time out. They haven’t been at their best in recent weeks, but have a chance to build up some real momentum heading into the playoffs with a soft schedule this week.
For the season, Thomas is now averaging 15.9 points, 9.9 rebounds, eight assists and 1.9 steals per game — numbers that are good for first in rebounding, second in assists and third in steals. It should not be a surprise that no one has ever had such a season before. There’s a good chance no one ever will again.