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Jun 21, 2024 1:18 pm

Liberty looking to extend Sparks’ road woes

ionescu

The road has been rough for the Los Angeles Sparks, who are 1-8 away from home and bring a five-game overall losing streak into Saturday afternoon’s rematch with the host New York Liberty in Brooklyn.

Powered by a season-high 31 points from Sabrina Ionescu, the Liberty beat the Sparks 93-80 Thursday night. New York has won the last six meetings between the two franchises dating back to 2022.

It will be the sixth contest of a seven-game road trip for the Sparks (4-12), who also lost prized rookie Cameron Brink for the season to a torn ACL suffered Tuesday at Connecticut.

“We have to get through this road trip and get through nine games in 18 days,” Sparks coach Curt Miller said on Thursday. “We will have to talk about some of the adjustments, but overall, we will be without the rim protection that Cameron brought. It will all be a work in progress.”

New York (13-3) has won nine of its last 10 games to build the second-best record in the WNBA.

Breanna Stewart leads the Liberty with 19.1 points a game and the Liberty rank No. 2 in scoring offense averaging 87.0 points per game.

The star Thursday night was Ionescu, who had six 3-pointers and continued the longest active streak in the WNBA by making a triple for the 41st straight game. Jonquel Jones added 22 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.

“We have some real talented players and these two lead the way,” Liberty coach Sandy Brondello said. “This is their job and their responsibility and those are the expectations we have of them every day they come in. We have been really, really proud of these two, especially their leadership. We continue to grow those deeper connections and when you have that, you’re able to play even better on the court.”

L.A. led Thursday’s game by six points early in the first quarter, but the Liberty went on a 13-0 run in the third quarter to seize control.

“Obviously, no moral victories,” Miller said. “All in all, a proud effort, but we’re looking for more as we try to win.”

–Field Level Media

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