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Sabrina Ionescu’s historic triple-double guides Liberty past Aces

Sep 29, 2020; Bradenton, Florida, USA; A game ball waits on a sanitation cart during game 5 of the WNBA semifinals between the Connecticut Suns and the Las Vegas Aces at IMG Academy. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

Sabrina Ionescu recorded the first 30-point triple-double in WNBA history, posting 31 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists as the New York Liberty rode a strong fourth quarter to a 116-107 road win over the Las Vegas Aces on Wednesday.

Han Xu went 11-of-12 from the floor for a career-high 24 points for New York (9-12), which had not scored 100 points in a game since June 26, 2021. But a blistering 57.5 percent shooting night, including 18-of-31 from 3-point range, buoyed the Liberty to their best offensive performance of the season.

Ionescu set the tone, matching her season high in scoring thanks to a 10-of-13 shooting effort that included a 7-of-8 night from beyond the 3-point arc. The triple-double was the third of her career, matching Candace Parker for the league’s all-time mark.

Xu made both of her attempts from behind the 3-point line, one of which started a critical 12-0 Liberty run in the fourth quarter. Xu also scored off a putback on one of her eight rebounds during the decisive burst that turned a six-point New York deficit into a six-point Liberty lead over a 2:01 stretch in the final period.

The 12-0 outpouring was the centerpiece of a 33-23 fourth-quarter advantage for New York, which set a franchise record for points in a game.

New York concludes its three-game Western road swing on Thursday in Phoenix.

Las Vegas (15-7) dropped its second straight decision and fifth in the last seven contests despite 29 points and nine rebounds from A’ja Wilson. Jackie Young added 24 points and Kelsey Plum chipped in 18. Iliana Rupert came off the bench to chip in 13 points.

Natasha Howard finished with 18 points for New York, while Stefanie Dolson and Marine Joachannes each added 11.

–Field Level Media