WNBA

Sabrina Ionescu comes in clutch in WNBA season opener (Video)


New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu proved her clutch gene in the opening game of the WNBA season with a game-winning three-pointer at the death.

Sabrina Ionescu wore a Kobe Bryant into the Barclays Center for the New York Liberty’s season opener against the Indiana Fever.

Then she did a Kobe Bryant impression.

Ionescu hit a three-pointer with .4 seconds remaining to lift her team to victory.

That’s a shot Kobe would be proud of.

It’s just the latest moment in an already legendary basketball career for Ionescu. The two-time John Wooden award winner was the first NCAA player with 2,000 points, 1,000 assists and 1,000 rebounds in their career.

She was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft for good reason.

Sabrina Ionescu didn’t need any time to shake off the rust in her return

Friday was Ionescu’s first game since last August when she sprained her ankle and missed the remainder of his rookie season in the WNBA.

The time away didn’t show any negative impact as she produced 25 points, six rebounds, 11 assists and a steal in the victory. She hit 4-of-8 three-point attempts, including that decisive one at the end.

The Liberty were led by forward Betnijah Laney with 30 points on 4-of-5 three-point shooting. Rookie forward Michaela Onyenwere, New York’s latest first-round selection, debuted with 18 points.

New York went 2-20 last year, so hopes of Ionescu, Laney and Onyenwere creating drastic improvement in 2021 are looking pretty good early.

The Fever will come away disappointed they didn’t grab the road win to shake up expectations for the coming WNBA season. Tiffany Mitchell had 23 points on a rough shooting night from beyond the arc. She went 1-of-7. Center Teaira McCowan added 22 points, 16 rebounds and two blocks.

They’ll get a chance for revenge in the rematch scheduled for Sunday.



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