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Monday, February 26, 2024

Liberty look to bounce again vs. short-handed Mercury


After their seven-game successful streak throughout all competitions ended, the New York Liberty should guard towards fatigue — whereas Sabrina Ionescu simply hopes to get her customized insoles again.

The Liberty will full a highway back-to-back on Friday once they pay a go to to the Phoenix Mercury.

New York (24-7) will play for the third time in 4 nights and the fourth time in six to conclude a busy week. The Liberty gained the Commissioner’s Cup title on Tuesday with an 82-63 rout of the Las Vegas Aces. The Liberty and Aces resumed the regular-season slate towards each other two nights later, and Las Vegas received its revenge with an 88-75 victory.

Earlier than Thursday’s sport, Ionescu wrote on social media that her signature Nike Sabrina 1 sneakers had been stolen from the Aces’ area.

“She’s received some (different) footwear right here. They journey with sufficient footwear. It was simply in regards to the insoles,” Liberty coach Sandy Brondello stated earlier than the sport. “She will get loads of footwear. However we’re on the highway, so it isn’t like we are able to simply get some insoles.”

Whereas Ionescu’s toes might not have felt the identical, the two-time All-Star nonetheless managed to bury 6 of 12 3-point makes an attempt and led New York with 22 factors within the loss. Breanna Stewart added 13 factors and 7 rebounds, and he or she continues to steer the group in each classes (22.9 factors, 9.1 boards per sport).

The Mercury (9-21) have been dealt a late blow Thursday evening when their solely two facilities, Brittney Griner and Megan Gustafson, entered well being and security protocol and have been dominated out for Friday.

Griner is the group’s main scorer (17.9 factors per sport) and rebounder (7.0 per sport), and Gustafson has crammed in capably when Griner has missed time. The Mercury signed ahead Liz Dixon, who performed seven video games for them earlier this yr, to a hardship contract.

The Mercury have proven what they’re able to when every little thing is clicking. Two video games in the past, Phoenix broke the WNBA file for factors in a primary quarter with 45 towards the Connecticut Solar, a top-three group within the league, and held on to win 90-84.

Issues remained uneven in Phoenix’s most up-to-date outing, an 81-71 highway loss to the Seattle Storm on Sunday. One vivid spot was Sophie Cunningham, who sank 4 treys en path to 25 factors.

“Our third quarter was actually good, actually. Our protection, our offense was good,” Cunningham stated after the sport. “However the good groups, that is what their first, second and fourth quarter additionally seem like. So for us it is (about) consistency.”

—Discipline Degree Media

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