Three takeaways from Liberty-Sun

    In a battle between the two best teams record-wise in the WNBA, the defending East champion Liberty (10-2) handed the Sun (9-1) their first loss of the season.

    Here are three takeaways from New York’s 82-75 win. 

    Jonquel Jones takes a bigger role in Liberty attack

    In her second season in New York, the 2022 league MVP with Connecticut is taking on a bigger role in the Liberty’s offense. She was outstanding on Saturday, finishing with 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting, eight rebounds, five assists and four blocks.

    Last season, Jones’ first with the Liberty, the eight-year veteran averaged 8.4 field goal attempts per game, her fewest since 2018. She was second on the team in attempts on Saturday and has been a vital scoring threat for New York as 2023 MVP Breanna Stewart finds her rhythm. Through the Liberty’s first 12 games, Stewart is shooting a career-worst 20 percent from three on 4.2 attempts per game. With Jones carving out a bigger space for herself, New York hasn’t skipped a beat.

    Sun’s offensive limitations could hold them back

    During Saturday’s broadcast, ABC shared a graphic that revealed each of the last six teams to begin the season 9-0 reached the WNBA Finals. For a good portion of the game, the Sun showed why they could be the seventh. 

    Connecticut showed its defensive chops in the second and third quarters by limiting New York to 29 points and preventing it from recording at least one offensive board for the first time in franchise history.

    But if Connecticut wants to join that exclusive group later this season, it must have a more reliable three-point offense. 

    The Sun shot 4-of-16 from deep against the Liberty, dropping them 0.02 percentage points behind the Wings (28.67 percent) for the league’s worst rate (28.65 percent).

    Sabrina Ionescu sets a new standard

    Liberty guard Ionescu set a WNBA benchmark on Saturday, becoming the fastest to 300 made regular-season three-point field goals in league history (117 games).

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