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HomeSportsNBAIonescu scores career-high 37 points as Liberty roll past Dream

Ionescu scores career-high 37 points as Liberty roll past Dream

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Sabrina Ionescu scored a career-high 37 points, including 20 points in the second quarter, and the visiting New York Liberty defeated the Atlanta Dream 106-83 on Friday night.

Ionescu made a franchise-record and career-high eight three-pointers, the last putting the Liberty at the 100-point mark for the first time this season. She made 10 of 18 shots from the field, including eight of 13 three-pointers and added nine-of-10 from the free-throw line.

Breanna Stewart had 25 points and nine rebounds, Jonquel Jones had 11 points and Courtney Vandersloot added 11 assists for New York (5-2).

Allisha Gray scored 17 points, Rhyne Howard 15 and Cheyenne Parker 12 for Atlanta (2-4).

Atlanta trailed 61-39 at halftime but closed to within 67-60 late in the third quarter. A steal and fast break layup by Marine Johannes put the Liberty up by nine, and New York finished the quarter on a 10-0 run. The Liberty added six points to their lead in the fourth quarter.

Atlanta led 15-13 in the first quarter before Stewart went on a nine-point scoring spree that included two three-pointers, one of which became a four-point play. The Liberty led 26-19 at the end of the period.

Haley Jones hit a three-pointer, got a rebound at the other end and hit a short jumper to draw Atlanta into a 33-all tie midway through the second quarter. But the Dream never took the lead and New York responded with a 14-1 run in which Ionescu scored 10 points. Her 20 points in the quarter were two shy of the WNBA record. She had 23 points in the first half and New York led 61-39 at the break.

The game was part of the Commissioner’s Cup, in which New York is 4-2and Atlanta’s record is 1-2.

The Liberty bounced back after an 86-82 loss to Chicago last time out and their scheduled game against Minnesota on Tuesday was postponed because of poor air quality in New York.

Fever rally past Lynx in 4th quarter

Kelsey Mitchell scored 22 points, Aliyah Boston and NaLyssa Smith had double-doubles, and the visiting Indiana Fever rallied in the fourth quarter to edge the Minnesota Lynx 71-69 on Friday night.

Mitchell made nine of 16 from the field and added three three-pointers, Smith had 12 points and 12 rebounds, and Boston added 10 points and 11 rebounds. Erica Wheeler scored 10 points.

Back-to-back three-pointers by Kayla McBride and Rachel Banham gave the Lynx a 52-46 lead with 1:38 left in the third quarter and Minnesota led 55-51 heading into the fourth quarter.

The score was tied five times in the fourth quarter before Indiana (2-5) took the lead for good on Mitchell’s three-point play with 1:54 left. A pair of free throws by Wheeler gave the Fever a 71-66 lead near the one-minute mark. Napheesa Collier hit a three-pointer to get Minnesota within two points with 1:01 remaining but neither team scored again.

Collier had 28 points and 14 rebounds for Minnesota (1-7) and McBride added 11 points.

Tiffany Mitchell hit two short shots in the lane and turned one of them into a three-point play, giving Minnesota a 25-21 lead midway through the second quarter. There would be four ties later in the quarter before Erica Wheeler hit a 19-foot pull-up jumper with 16 seconds left to give Indiana a 36-34 halftime lead.

Ogunbowale shines as Wings soar past Mercury

Arike Ogunbowale scored 35 points, Satou Sabally added a double-double and Dallas pulled away in the second half to beat Phoenix 90-77 on Friday night.

Ogunbowale sank 12 of 21 shots with five three-pointers and five assists for the Wings (5-3), who improved to 4-0 at home this season. Sabally, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 draft, finished with 17 points and 16 rebounds for her fourth straight double-double and fifth of the season. Natasha Howard pitched in with 22 points and seven boards.

Brittney Griner had 18 points to pace the Mercury (1-5), who fell to 0-3 on the road. Sug Sutton scored 16 with nine assists. Diana Taurasi added 12 points and five assists.

Michaela Onyenwere and Griner combined to score 13 points and the Mercury led 21-17 after the first quarter. Ogunbowale scored seven in the opening period to keep Dallas close.

Dallas grabbed its first lead, 40-38, since early in the first quarter on a basket by Howard with 1:39 remaining before halftime. Griner had a layup that tied the game at 42, but she was whistled for a technical foul. Sabally hit the free throw and Kalani Brown followed with a jumper to put the Wings up 45-42 at intermission.

Sabally scored eight straight on a three-point play, a basket and a three-pointer to push the Dallas lead to nine early in the third quarter. Howard followed with back-to-back buckets, capping a 14-0 run that gave the Wings a 66-53 lead with 1:38 left. Phoenix trailed by at least eight points the rest of the way.

Dallas also beat the visiting Mercury 84-79 on Wednesday.



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