Sabrina Ionescu buried a 3-point winner with 0.4 seconds left to give New York Liberty a spectacular 90-87 victory over Indiana Fever in the WNBA season opener.
Ionescu scored New York’s last eight points in her first game since badly injuring her left ankle over nine months ago in Game 3 of her rookie season. She recorded 25 points, 11 assists and six rebounds on Friday.
“I’m just excited to start playing again and doing what I love,” Ionescu said in a post-game interview on NBA TV. “That’s what I love to do. The ups and downs. It really pays off.”
Betnijah Laney scored a high 30 points in her New York debut after being signed as a free agent during the offseason. Michaela Onyenwere added 18 points.
Kelsey Mitchell scored 23 points and Teaira McCowan added 22 points and 16 rebounds for the fever.
Friday Night WNBA Results
|Dallas Wings 94-71 Los Angeles Sparks|
|Minnesota Lynx 75-77 Phoenix Mercury|
|Atlanta Dream 67-78 Connecticut Sun|
|Indiana Fever 87-90 New York Liberty|
Minnesota Lynx 75-77 Phoenix Mercury
Diana Taurasi scored 14 points, including a decisive 3 point 1.1 seconds from time, as three-time WNBA champion Mercury beat the Lynx.
The Lynx had a point lead and the ball before Brianna Turner made a steal and Taurasi, who had only made 2 of 12 shots, hit the winner.
Skylar Diggins-Smith added 18 points, while Brittney Griner had 17 points and 12 rebounds. Turner finished with 13 points and 10 tables and Kia Nurse scored 10 points for Phoenix.
Aerial Powers scored 18 points, Kayla McBride and Crystal Dangerfield added 17 each and Sylvia Fowles had 11 points and 11 rebounds to lead Minnesota.
Dallas Wings 94-71 Los Angeles Sparks
Allisha Gray scored 23 points and No. 1 overall Charli Collier netted a double in her pro debut as the visiting Wings overtook the Sparks.
Collier, a 6-foot-5 forward from Texas, had 4 of 6 shots for 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Wings, while Gray added nine rebounds, four assists and four steals to his big goal effort.
Arike Ogunbowale, the 2020 WNBA top scorer, opened the new campaign with 17 points in just 20 minutes.
Sisters Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike led Los Angeles with 18 and 12 points, respectively.
But the Sparks shot about 35.9 percent from the field and only managed 44 points in the final three quarters after a strong start.
Atlanta Dream 67-78 Connecticut Sun
Jonquel Jones, returning to the WNBA after retiring last season due to COVID-19, scored 16 of his game-high 16 points in the first quarter of the Sun’s season opener. against the Dream.
Jones made 10 of 15 shots from the field, including 2 of 4 3-pointers as a post player. She also had eight rebounds, helping Connecticut overtake Atlanta 42-26.
DeWanna Bonner added 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Sun.
Courtney Williams and Odyssey Sims each had 14 points for Atlanta. Williams, who played with the Sun from 2016 to 19, was 2 for 4 over a 3-point distance and Sims, a free agent pickup who played for the Minnesota Lynx last year, was 1 in 2 of this distance.