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Jun 3, 2024 7:01 pm

Liberty get another crack at Sky after early loss

jonquel jones

On May 23, the Chicago Sky marched into New York and handed the Liberty their first loss of the season in a 90-81 victory. Since then, each team has had struggles but the Liberty are back on a winning streak entering Tuesday’s rematch in Chicago.

That defeat was the first of two in a row for the Liberty, and each time they finished below their average of 86.1 points per game. Now, New York faces the Sky on a three-game winning streak.

“The offense is fine, we’re just still trying to work out the little clinks and how do we get the best looks every single time,” Liberty coach Sandy Brondello said. “But then making sure we have good inside-outside attack; I think that’s critical for us.”

The Liberty’s inside presence struggled against Chicago in the last outing. Chicago’s Angel Reese led Sky bigs with 13 points as they outscored New York 46-36 in the paint.

New York forward Jonquel Jones scored eight points in limited minutes due to foul trouble. When the Liberty lost their next game to the Minnesota Lynx, Jones scored just four points, but as the former MVP goes, so go the Liberty.

In New York’s subsequent three-game winning streak, Jones averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds per game. Now, on Tuesday, the Liberty’s interior game faces a new challenge in Kamilla Cardoso.

Saturday, the 6-foot-7 rookie Cardoso made her long-awaited debut. Playing 18 minutes off the bench, Cardoso made her presence felt, shooting 5-for-7 from the field with 11 points and six rebounds.

Adding intrigue to Tuesday is the Commissioner’s Cup, the WNBA in-season tournament. In their first games of the tournament, both New York and Chicago faced Caitlin Clark and the Indiana Fever, with varying results.

The Liberty dismantled Indiana 104-68, but Chicago couldn’t hold on the day before falling 71-70 at Indiana.

In Chicago’s loss, guard Chennedy Carter was the focus of conversation. In the third quarter, Carter elbowed Clark before an inbounds play. It sent the rookie to the floor, but was whistled as a common foul.

Carter wouldn’t address it following the game, but the league upgraded the foul to a flagrant-1 on Sunday, without fining or suspending the guard. Carter focused on her own game.

“I’m really just trying to always be ready whenever my number is called,” Carter said. “I’m really ready to showcase my talent and be ready when my number’s called.”

–Field Level Media

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