|GAME LEADERS||NEW YORK||LOS ANGELES|
|POINTS||Stewart (25)||Clarendon (30)|
|REBOUNDS||Jones (9)||Hamby, Stevens (8)|
|ASSISTS||Vandersloot (10)||Canada (5)|
On Thursday, the New York Liberty (32-7) defeated the Los Angeles Sparks (16-23), 96-89, in the finale of their 2023 three-game season series, sweeping the series, three games to zero.
At Barclays Center, the Liberty finished on 50.7% (35-69) shooting from the field, 50% (17-34) from three, and 90% (9-10) at the free throw line––marking the second-ever game of 50/50/90 in Liberty franchise history (8/13/06 vs. Washington).
With tonight’s victory marking her 212th as a head coach, Sandy Brondello moved into sole possession of the seventh-most wins all-time in WNBA history.
Tonight’s comeback victory marked the fourth game this season that New York has overcome a 14-plus point deficit and ultimately won the contest (h/t The Next’s Jackie Powell).
New York recorded 32 assists as a team on their 35 made baskets, resulting in an assist percentage of 91.4%––the second highest in the league this season behind their own 92.0% on August 17. Tonight was the team’s fourth 30+ assist finish of the season, tying the WNBA single-season record (h/t Across the Timeline).
Further, the Liberty’s 12 second-half threes tied a franchise record (set last season against the Aces on 7/12/2022) and a WNBA record (done four times prior to tonight in a second half).
Up Next: The New York Liberty will close out the regular season with a home matchup against the Washington Mystics on Sunday, September 10 at 1 p.m. ET.
Q1: New York went on a 12-4 run from the 8:44 mark of the first to the 5:09 mark of the opening quarter. Los Angeles responded with an 8-0 run from the 1:39 mark of the first to the 0:29 mark of the quarter.
Q2: Los Angeles extended their first-quarter run into the second quarter, totaling a 28-7 run from the 1:39 mark of the first to the 4:30 mark of the first half.
Q3: New York went on a 13-5 run from the 5:28 mark of the third to the 2:22 mark of the quarter.
Q4: New York went on a 28-8 run from the 1:04 mark of the third to the 2:41 mark of the fourth quarter.
New York finished with four double-digit scorers in tonight’s game (Stewart, Laney, Dolson, Ionescu).
The reigning three-time WNBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month and six-time Player of the Week, Breanna Stewart, finished with 25 points on 56.3% (9-16) shooting from the floor, including 60% (3-5) from three, five rebounds, three assists, and two blocks.
Twenty-one of her team-high 25 points tonight came in the first half on 66.7% (8-12) shooting from the field and a perfect 100% (3-3) from three.
Betnijah Laney totaled 20 points on 53.8% (7-13) shooting from the floor, including 60% (3-5) from three, and a season-high seven assists, marking back-to-back 20-point games for the first time since she recorded a franchise-record eight-consecutive games of 20-plus points to open the 2021 season––her first with the Liberty.
Stef Dolson added a season-high 17 points on 85.7% (6-7) shooting from the field, including a perfect 100% (5-5) from three, and four rebounds off the bench. Her five makes from three also marked a season-high, one shy of tying a career-high from deep.
With her second three-pointer at the 7:21 mark of the third, Sabrina Ionescu broke the WNBA all-time single-season made threes record, eclipsing Diana Taurasi’s previous 17-year-old record of 121 three-pointers from 2006. The fourth-year guard ultimately finished with 16 points, including 40% (4-10) from deep, five assists, and four rebounds.
For Los Angeles, Layshia Clarendon finished with a game-high 30 points, five rebounds, and three assists, while Azurá Stevens added 18 points, eight rebounds, and three steals.