Alyssa Thomas' historic triple-double helps Sun stave off elimination (2:19)

The Sun's Alyssa Thomas is the first player in the history of the league to complete a triple-double with 16 points, 15 Rebound and 11 Assists. There is a time and a place for it.

1:26 AM ET

The Connecticut Sun had their backs against the wall in the playoffs. The player they call the Machine was the leader.

She had a triple-double in the Sun's win over Las Vegas in the third game of the best-of-five series. No one who follows the NBA thought that the Sun would roll over. The Sun's personality isn't what it's cracked up to be.

They lost the first game of the series on Sunday and the second game on Tuesday. In front of their fans at the Sun Arena, the Sun summoned the energy they needed to force a fourth game here in Connecticut.

The Sun is physical and very resilient, according to the coach. We didn't match their mentality in any category. They kicked our ass in a lot of different ways.

"She's a beast, she finished with 16 points, 15 rebound and 11 assists." I didn't want to get in the cage with her at the UFC fight. She is not easy to deal with. It's tough, it's tough. And then a person who can make something happen.

She led the women's Final Four her senior year and was the fourth pick in the NBA draft.

Thomas is not easy to compare to other players in the league. She can't have a jump shot because of her shoulder injuries, but that's not important. It's hard to stop Thomas, she's so smart and strong that it's hard to stop her.

Thomas is a point forward with how much she handles the ball and how she creates opportunities for her teammates. Is it also rebound? There isn't anything about Thomas that makes you think you'll outhustle her.

That is every day. "She doesn't know how to play another sport," Miller said. She's the most consistent player I've ever been around and she's the toughest player I've ever coached.

The Sun were in a win-or-go- home situation after the first two games of the finals. They faced that in the first round when they had to go to Dallas to close out a best-of-three series and in the semifinals when they beat Chicago twice on their home court.

They got off to a 9-2 start, but it wasn't enough to control the game. After the first quarter, the Sun's energy level went up so much that it looked like a switch had been flipped. The Sun's starters all scored in double figures, with Jonquel Jones leading the way with 20 points.

After going 2 of 18 from the field in the first two games of the Finals, DeWanna Bonner went 8 of 15 from the field for 18 points in Thursday's game.

The star of the night was Thomas, who had a triple-double for the third time this season. There have been 19 triple-doubles in the history of the league, but they are becoming less and less common. Two of the 19 came last season and eight this season.

The NBA has been seen as more of a positionless game. It's about her ability to be both a true post and someone who can make things happen for herself or her teammates, that's what it's about in Thomas' case.

On a night when the Sun's season could have ended, Thomas led the way in wanting it to go on.

Thomas approached the game the same way he approached any other game. We just wanted it. We haven't been performing well on the offensive side. We haven't been hitting shots, but we came out ready.