There hasn’t been much for the New York Liberty to build on since the first game of the season.
Perhaps seeing the Connecticut Sun again will be a good tonic for the Liberty when the teams meet for the second time this season Tuesday night in New York.
New York (1-3) has dropped the first two games of a three-game homestand. New York’s lone victory came with an 81-79 decision in the May 7 opener against Connecticut.
“We knew that we didn’t play our best basketball,” Sun guard DiJonai Carrington said of the opener. “Luckily, we get to avenge that loss very soon.”
The Sun (1-1) notched a 77-60 victory against the Los Angeles Sparks on Saturday.
Alyssa Thomas racked up 25 points in the first meeting with New York. She also led the Sun in scoring in Connecticut’s second game with 23 points.
Sun coach Curt Miller expects to be able to call four-time All-Star SunDeWanna Bonner and Courtney Williams into action. Bonner has been participating in the Turkish League playoffs, and Williams was suspended for the first two games stemming from an off-court situation last year.
“We have two of our best pieces coming back next game with Courtney and DeWanna,” Carrington said. “It’s going to be tough to stop us.”
Sabrina Ionescu has been the Liberty’s leading scoring in three of the team’s four games, though she managed only two points in the other game. She had 25 points in the first matchup with the Sun and the third-year guard scored 31 in Friday’s overtime loss to Indiana, two off her career-high mark.
The Liberty is also looking to get more consistent production from Natasha Howard, who had 14 points on 6-on-12 shooting in Sunday’s 81-71 loss to the Dallas Wings. Prior to that outing, she shot a combined 10 of 42 from the field in the first three games.
“My teammates had confidence in me and that brought my confidence back,” Howard said.
Reserve center Han Xu provided 10 points for the Liberty against Dallas, so additional sources of offense might be developing for coach Sandy Brondello’s team.
“She’s always ready when her number is called,” Howard said of Xu.
After this game, the Liberty will hit the road for three games, returning home June 1. For the Sun, meantime, this is the first of seven games in a busy second half of May.
–Field Level Media