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Liberty begin road trip in Indiana vs. Fever

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Indiana Fever v Phoenix Mercury Photo by Kate Frese/NBAE via Getty Images

Keep on keeping on. The New York Liberty had a Friday night party, and the Chicago Sky were the guests of honor. In front of a crowd that came ready to party, the Liberty delivered a wire-to-wire victory and pushed their winning streak to five straight games. The team has their travel bags packed and will be on the road for the next two weeks.

The opponent tonight is planning for an exciting future. The Indiana Fever aren’t near the playoffs, but there’s reason for optimism in Indy. They got an impressive win against the Minnesota Lynx at home on Thursday night.

Where to follow the game

ESPN on TV. Tip at 3:00 p.m. ET.


No Han Xu as she flies home from her overseas obligations.

All clear for Indy.

The game

New York took game one in May and games two and three in July. This is the last meeting between the two teams this season.

Aliyah Boston has had an incredible start to her WNBA career. AB has raised the ceiling of Indiana and proven to be a force on the inside already. As the Fever figure out how to build around her, they can count on her to continue getting better by the day. She’ll have her hands full in this one. Jonquel Jones has been a force on the inside for the Liberty and has unlocked something new for this Liberty offense. The Fever tend to get foul happy (second highest opponent free throw rate in the WNBA this season) and if Boston isn’t there to contest Jones, it might turn into a long evening for Indy.

When the Liberty need a bucket, they can turn to Sabrina Ionescu. In the second Liberty win over the Fever, she pulled the team out of the fire in overtime with a bevy of clutch threes in overtime. The Fever allow team to shoot the highest three point percentage in the league, and Sab is torching the nets to the tune of 44.8 percent from downtown. With a busy week ahead of them, look for Ionescu and the Liberty to get the Fever moving from side to side as they hunt great shot opportunities.

The duo of Betnijah Laney and Kayla Thornton have been fantastic on defense for the Liberty. They’ve made life tough on elite perimeter scorers and will look to slow down Kelsey Mitchell this evening. Mitchell was named an All Star for the first time this season and she's been on a hot streak recently. She's averaging close to 22 points a game on over 50 percent shooting in her last three games. She can heat up from deep, break you down off the dribble, and wreak havoc when she drives to the rim. The Liberty’s team defense has continued to improve and today will be another good test of those gains.

Player to watch: NaLyssa Smith

Smith is just returning from a stress fracture in her foot that cost her a month of action. Her loss was felt in a major way as Christy Sides was without one of the league’s best rebounders. Having Smith back gives the Fever another player who can finish at the rim and wreak havoc on the boards. With two games left in the season, this is a great opportunity for Smith to end the season on a high note as she heads into 2024.

Breanna Stewart will look to keep the show going this afternoon. Stewie had another all around gem on Friday night with 21 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists. She and Jonquel Jones continue to get comfortable with one another and having two do everything bigs like them creates matchup nightmares for opponents. With this being the first leg of a season long five game road trip, we'll see how Stewart sets the tone for her squad.

From the Vault

It’s Basketball Hall of Fame weekend, so let’s salute a new member of the Hall, Becky Hammon who played seven years with the Liberty!

More reading: Swish Appeal, The Strickland, The Local W, New York Daily News, New York Post, The Athletic. Fansided, Just Women’s Sports, SI All Knicks, Winsidr, Her Hoop Stats, CBS Sports, and The Next