For the first time since 2015, the New York Liberty have picked up a WNBA playoff win, as they upset the Chicago Sky in Game 1 of their opening round matchup.
The WNBA playoffs officially began on Wednesday night, and the first game of the opening round featured the defending champion Chicago Sky taking on the New York Liberty.
With a little over three minutes remaining, the Sky looked to be on the verge of taking the pivotal Game 1 victory, leading 91-85. Doing so would bring them one more win away from making it out of the first round.
Instead, the Liberty scored 13 unanswered points to take the 98-91 win, a huge upset that shocked fans and media alike on Twitter.
Twitter reacts to Liberty’s massive upset win over Sky
The last time the Liberty won a game was back on Sept. 23, 2015, which was a 84-67 win over the Indiana Fever in Game 1 of that year’s Eastern Conference Finals. The Fever would go on to take the next two games to win the series and earn a spot in the WNBA Finals.
The Liberty’s comeback began with what was an impressive play. Sabrina Ionescu passed the ball to Marine Johannes, who dribbled around the three point line. In the process, Johannes threw a double-handed, over the head pass to Natasha Howard, who was alone in the paint and made an uncontested layup to cut their deficit to 91-87.
Take a look for yourself.
Speaking of Ionescu, she led New York by scoring 22 points while shooting 8-for-12 from the field, in addition to recording seven rebounds, six assists and two steals in 36 minutes of playing time.
As for the Sky, two of their starters recorded double-doubles — Candace Parker (17 points, 10 rebounds) and Courtney Vandersloot (13 points, 10 assists). Kahleah Copper led Chicago with 22 points scored (7-for-14 on field goal attempts).
The Liberty have the chance to advance to the Conference Finals if they are to pick up a Game 2 victory on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. ET. The Sky will look to force a Game 3 at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn.