WNBA round-up: Sabrina Ionescu's historic triple-double lifts Liberty; Diana Taurasi shines for Mercury
Sabrina Ionescu became the youngest player in WNBA history to record a triple-double as she led the New York Liberty to an 86-75 win over the visiting Minnesota Lynx.
Ionescu, 23, collected 26 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds for the first triple-double in Liberty history. It was just the 10th ever triple-double in the WNBA.
“I’m excited but I think I’m even more excited that we got a win,” Ionescu said after the game, where the Liberty improved to 3-0 on the season after only winning two games last year.
“It really takes a whole team effort, it’s not just me. It’s everyone getting in position to score and rebound, so I’m just really proud of this team and how we fought tonight.”
New York improved to 3-0, already exceeding last year’s win total. The Liberty went 2-20 in 2020.
Betnijah Laney added 20 points, Sami Whitcomb scored 13 and Kylee Shook had 10 for New York. The Liberty canned 12 of 27 3-point attempts and cut their turnovers from 12 in the first half to four after half-time.
Sylvia Fowles scored 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to pace Minnesota, which got 16 points from Kayla McBride and 12 from Jessica Shepard. However, the Lynx fell to 0-2 because they made only 11 of 34 field-goal attempts in the second half.
- WATCH: Tuesday’s best plays and performances
Balanced-scoring Mercury hand Mystics second straight loss
Diana Taurasi scored 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting and the Phoenix Mercury never trailed on their way to a 91-70 victory over the host Washington Mystics on Tuesday night.
Brittney Griner added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Mercury, who finished their season-opening road trip 2-1. The Mystics dropped their second straight game to start the year.
Six Phoenix players scored in double figures. Kia Nurse and reserve Sophie Cunningham each contributed 12, Brianna Turner posted 10 points and 14 boards, and Skylar Diggins-Smith added 10 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Mystics Tina Charles led all scorers with 22 points and added with 12 rebounds. Natasha Cloud scored 18 points, and Ariel Atkins posted 12.
The Mercury outscored the Mystics 47-33 for the second half after Washington kept things tight in the early going and for a second straight game, the Mystics played without Elena Delle Donne.
The two-time WNBA MVP is taking a slow and steady approach to returning to action as she recovers from a 2020 back surgery.
Defense lift Aces past Storm
Jackie Young scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the visiting Las Vegas Aces showed their mettle with a 96-80 win over the Seattle Storm in a rematch of last year’s WNBA Finals.
Las Vegas (1-1) dominated the first half, gave back nearly all of its lead in the face of a determined comeback from the Storm, and then again found its stride in the fourth quarter, never allowing Seattle to get closer than five points.
The Aces enacted a bit of revenge for a season-opening 97-83 loss to Seattle on Saturday, splitting the two-game series in the Pacific Northwest.
A’ja Wilson and Liz Cambage added 18 points each for Las Vegas while Chelsea Gray scored 11 and Kelsey Plum and Riquna Williams had 10 points each for the Aces. Wilson also had 11 rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots while Cambage posted eight rebounds.
Breanna Stewart scored 26 points and added 11 rebounds to lead Seattle (1-1), with Jewell Loyd adding 17, 13 of those in a torrid third quarter, and Ezi Magbegor and Katie Lou Samuelson and hitting for 14 and 13 points, respectively. Magbegor recorded a game-high 13 rebounds.
Las Vegas scored 14 of the game’s first 18 points, then the Storm answered with a 10-2 spurt to pull within 16-14 at the 4:07 mark. The Aces then finished the period with a 15-0 run that stunned Seattle and produced a 31-14 lead.
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