Consider Tuesday night’s game a reminder of just how good Sabrina Ionescu can play when she is at her best.
In an 88-69 romp over the Minnesota Lynx, the New York Liberty guard became the first player in WNBA history to score at least 26 points, grab eight rebounds and dish out eight assists while sinking 90 percent of her shots. And she did it all before the third quarter was complete.
Ionescu will try to author an encore Friday night when New York travels to Indianapolis to meet the Indiana Fever in a matchup of two of the WNBA’s worst squads.
The good news for the Liberty (4-8) is that they might finally be figuring things out. Even with 2021 WNBA All-Star Betnijah Laney (knee) out after surgery, they have won three of their last four, including a road victory over Eastern Conference title contender Washington.
And if Ionescu keeps doing things like draining logo 3-pointers and executing jaw-dropping, no-look passes to teammates for buckets, New York may enter the playoff picture sooner instead of later.
“I don’t really care about my performance,” Ionescu said. “The win propels us into the next game.”
Ionescu enters with averages of 17.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game while shooting 46.5 percent from the field and nearly 38 percent on 3-pointers.
Meanwhile, Indiana (3-11) continued to struggle. The Fever lost 88-69 at Connecticut on Wednesday, their fourth straight loss after beating the Los Angeles Sparks in Carlos Knox’s first game as interim coach.
Defense has been a constant problem for Indiana, which has allowed 86.6 points per game under Knox. Connecticut made 47.0 percent of its shots Wednesday night and also dominated the glass 41-29.
Fever leading scorer Kelsey Mitchell recently called the team “soft” and too casual.
“That has nothing to do with any ability on the court, anything you can practice … we have to hold each other accountable,” Mitchell said.
–Field Level Media