WNBA: Table-topping Liberty, Sun clash in marquee matinee

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The two best teams in the WNBA will square off twice before the Olympic break, with the first matchup coming Wednesday morning when the New York Liberty face the Connecticut Sun in Uncasville, Conn.

The 11 a.m. ET tipoff is part of Connecticut’s “Camp Day,” a summertime tradition around the WNBA. The Liberty and Sun also will meet in New York on July 16 before the league goes on pause for a month.

New York and Connecticut enter Wednesday tied atop the league standings at 17-4. The Liberty absorbed their fourth loss of the season on Saturday when Indiana’s Caitlin Clark notched the first triple-double by a rookie in WNBA history in an 83-78 Fever win. The Sun then matched the Liberty’s record Sunday by beating the Atlanta Dream 80-67.

New York built an 11-point lead early in the fourth quarter, but Indiana began chipping away. An 11-0 run late in the game put the Fever up 79-75 while the Liberty went scoreless for more than three minutes.

“We played Liberty basketball, but understanding like — this was their Super Bowl game,” Sabrina Ionescu said. “We’ve beaten them three times this year already. We knew they were going to come into this game really hungry and it’s tough to beat a team four times.”

Ionescu led the Liberty with 22 points Saturday. She also posted a game-high 24 in the first game pitting New York against Connecticut. Jonquel Jones added 22 points, eight boards and five assists as the Liberty handed the Sun their first loss of the season, 82-75 on June 8.

Six Sun players scored in double figures in that initial meeting, including all five starters, but they couldn’t compete with New York’s 51.7 percent shooting from the field. The Sun lead the WNBA in scoring defense (72.8 points per game against), but that was their highest field-goal percentage allowed this year.

Still, the Sun have plenty to hang their hats on. Connecticut enters on a three-game winning streak, and five different players have led the team in scoring at least once over the past nine.

Against Atlanta, DeWanna Bonner scored 23 points and drained 7 of her 9 3-point attempts. She had not made more than three in a game before Sunday. Tiffany Mitchell added a season-high 13 off the bench.

“Certainly our stretch this month as we head into the Olympic break is a tough one,” Sun coach Stephanie White said, “and we’ve got to continue to work to get better, and I felt like (Sunday) was another step in the right direction.”

–Field Level Media

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