The New York Liberty broke a 17-game losing streak that stretched back to last July and Joe Tsai, the Liberty’s owner —and the Nets minority owner— has his first win in professional basketball. Final score: New York Liberty 88, Las Vegas Aces 78.
After a near-upset on Friday vs. the Washington Mystics, the Liberty took the floor at Westchester County Center hoping to continue their recent good play. The Liberty took the lead midway in the second quarter and led at half time, 45-37. New York extended the lead in the third and after a Las Vegas run at the end of the third moved ahead by double figures in the fourth.
Tina Charles, the WNBA’s second leading scorer, led the way with 21 points and eight rebounds.
The Liberty’s two wings, Bria Hartley and Kia Nurse, combined for 32 points. Hartley had 17 points, six rebounds and six assists while Nurse had 15 points. Amanda Zahui B, New York’s power forward, contributed nine points and a team-high nine boards. Reshanda Gray also had eight rebounds off the bench.
The Liberty kept control of the ball, turning the ball over nine times, the first time this season they didn’t hit double figures. For the Aces, point guard Kelsey Plum had four points , three rebounds, two steals and an assist. Plum is reportedly dating D’Angelo Russell.
With the win, the Liberty is now 1-4. It was their first win ever over the Aces. Tsai bought the Liberty in January from James Dolan and has upgraded the team’s practice facility and added other resources, including a new GM to replace Isiah Thomas.
Howard Megdal of High Post Hoops said the Liberty’s play has improved over the past two games as their coach has tried to shake things up.
After processing what I saw from @nyliberty today, biggest takeaway for me? Nothing felt like an outlier. All stuff they can and likely should repeat, add to. @katiesmith30 kept tinkering and may have found the balance. #WNBA— Howard Megdal (@howardmegdal) June 10, 2019
The win led to a mini-celebration at the Westchester County Center, where 1,447 were on hand.
The game was broadcast on FOX Sports Live. The Liberty’s next home game is Wednesday, June 12, vs. the Minnesota Lynx on YES Network.