MANILA, Philippines — Both young guns and veterans displayed stellar opening games in the first day of hostilities for the WNBA's 25th season on Friday (Saturday, Manila time).
In just her third game for the New York Liberty, Sabrina Ionescu sank the game winner for her team against the Indiana Fever, 90-87, with a contested triple in the opening game of the season.
Ionescu, who only played two matches for the Liberty in her rookie season due to injury, returned with a bang with 25 points — including the game-clinching triple to put New York in front by three with 0.4 left at Barclays Center.
— New York Liberty (@nyliberty) May 15, 2021
Betnijah Laney topscored for the Liberty in her first game for New York with 30 markers in the win.
Meanwhile, Diana Taurasi opened her 17th season in the league 4-71 with a clutch triple for Phoenix Mercury to tow them over the Minnesota Lynx, 77-75.
Old people can dream too.
Welcome to Year 17 ???? pic.twitter.com/14FzQww1HQ
— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) May 15, 2021
Lynx's Crystal Dangerfield lost the ball with seven ticks left in the game which led to Taurasi's game winner with just 1.1 left on the clock.
Taurasi finished the game with 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists to lead the Mercury to 1-0.
In the other games, 2021 WNBA Draft No. 1 pick Charli Collier tallied a double-double in her first professional game in the Dallas Wings' 94-71 win over the Los Angeles Sparks.
The Connecticut Sun, for their part, emerged victorious over the Atlanta Dream, 78-67 to wrap up the day's hostilities.
Center Jonquel Jones paced the Sun with 26 points, eight rebounds and three assists in the victory.
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