WNBA: Liberty shoot for 4-0 start, take on Jewell Loyd, Storm

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Jonquel Jones had a message for New York Liberty fans before Saturday’s home opener against Caitlin Clark and the Indiana Fever.

“This season is our season,” she said as a sellout crowd roared.

And New York gave nearly 18,000 fans no reason to think otherwise with a 91-80 victory.

The Liberty will try to make it four straight wins to open the season when they host the Seattle Storm on Monday night.

The Liberty established a 57-37 halftime lead Saturday and cruised to the finish, as all five starters ended in double figures. Breanna Stewart scored a game-high 24 points on 7-of-14 shooting as New York hit 48.4 percent from the field, including an impressive 15-of-32 on 3-pointers.

In the proverbial small sample size of three games, the Liberty lead the league in shooting percentage (47.1) and scoring (92.7 ppg). Even taking into account the games have been against winless opponents in Washington and Indiana, it’s been a promising start for a team whose one goal this year is to dethrone two-time champion Las Vegas.

“We’re not satisfied over here,” Stewart said.

Meanwhile, Seattle (1-2) got into the win column Sunday with an 84-75 victory at Washington as Jewell Loyd pumped in 24 points. Skylar Diggins-Smith added 18, while Ezi Magbegor contributed a 15-point, 14-rebound double-double.

Loyd, who averaged a league-high 24.7 ppg last year, was held to 15 ppg in the first two games of 2024 and has made 22 percent (13 of 59) of her shots in three games. She shot 6-of-19 on Sunday.

“It obviously feels great when you’re hitting shots,” Loyd said. “I was just trying to get into a rhythm. All of us, we were able to take what the defense was giving us. We fought through a lot of physicality today.”

The Storm won despite missing Nneka Ogwumike, who sat out with an ankle injury suffered in Friday night’s 102-93 loss in double overtime at Minnesota. Ogwumike is expected to play Monday night.

New York swept the four-game season series last year, with three wins coming by eight points or fewer.

–Field Level Media

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