Mon, 25 Sep 2023

Liberty take 3-game winning streak to Chicago

Field Level Media
02 Jun 2023, 04:05 GMT+10

The New York Liberty look to extend their winning streak to four games when they visit the Chicago Sky on Friday before the teams meet again in New York on Sunday.

The Liberty (3-1), who are coming off an 86-78 victory over the host Seattle Storm on Tuesday, have won their past three games by an average of 13.7 points. New York opened the season with an 80-64 loss on the road to the Washington Mystics.

Chicago (3-2) has dropped two of its past three games after an 83-65 loss to the host Atlanta Dream on Tuesday.

New York is led by Breanna Stewart, who averages team-highs in points (25.8), rebounds (10.3), steals (2.8) and blocks (1.8) per game, while Sabrina Ionescu averages 16.0 points and 7.3 rebounds. Courtney Vandersloot chips in 9.3 points to go along with a team-high 8.8 assists per game.

Stewart had a terrific game against the Storm, the team she led to WNBA titles in 2018 and 2020 before joining the Liberty as one of the biggest free-agent signings in league history in February. The two-time finals MVP and 2018 league MVP had 25 points and 11 rebounds against her former team, while Ionescu made six 3-pointers while adding 20 points and Vandersloot finished with 11 assists but no points.

The Liberty hope for the same performance against the Sky. Vandersloot spent her first 12 seasons with the Sky, leading them to their first title in 2021 before joining New York as a free agent in February.

"We were joking in the locker room about it being a revenge tour," Ionescu said. "Now we're going to Chicago and we're about to experience the same thing with Sloot, but I think it's just understanding where they're coming from and being there for them."

Meantime, the Sky's strong start to the season was tarnished with a loss to Atlanta, which led 40-25 at halftime and by as many as 22 in the second half.

Dana Evans came off the bench to score a team-high 11 points for the Sky, while Kahleah Copper, who averages a team-high 14.6 points per game, scored 10, as did Marina Mabrey, who averages 14.3 points per game.

"They bullied us a lot," Sky coach James Wade said. "You have to be ready and physically engaging in every game. You can't take plays off."

--Field Level Media

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