2024 WNBA Commissioner's Cup score: New York Liberty take down Connecticut Sun, end their undefeated run

The Connecticut Sun entered Saturday’s matchup with the New York Liberty looking to defend their 9-0 record, the fourth-best start in WNBA history. Sabrina Ionescu and co. — entering Mohegan Sun Arena with a five-game streak of their own—had other plans.

New York burst out of the gate with an 8-0 run in the first quarter, eventually leading 11-2 behind Ionescu’s history-making triple. She became the fastest player to reach 300 career 3-pointers, doing so in just 117 games.

The Sun began to storm back, as Bonner’s triple made it an 11-7 contest with 6:21 remaining in the first. The Liberty pulled away to a 28-18 lead at the end of the quarter. Ionescu led the way with 10 points on perfect 4-of-4 shooting from the field.

Connecticut went on a 7-0 run to get back within three, with 7:10 left in the second quarter. Guard Tiffany Mitchell converted an and-one layup to knot the game up at 30 with 6:21 remaining. And after trailing by as many as 12 points early on, the Sun took a 32-30 lead off of free throws by Dewanna Bonner. When the game was tied again at 34, Bonner responded with a triple to put Connecticut in front with 3:10 remaining.

The Liberty took a 39-37 lead off of a Jonquel Jones triple, before Brionna Jones’ layup evened the score heading into halftime. Jones and Ionescu missed consecutive tiebreaking threes. Connecticut outscored New York 21-11 in the second quarter.

The Sun’s offense got into a groove to start the second half, taking their largest lead of the game behind a steal and layup from forward Alyssa Thomas.

The Liberty kept chipping away, cutting the deficit to three behind a pair of free throws from Stewart. They had five assists in the third quarter and 17 for the game at that point. The Sun were on top 60-57 heading into the final frame.

Another Jonquel Jones triple tied the game at 62 with 7:30 remaining, giving Jones 16 points on the day. The Liberty regained the lead off a fadeaway by Leonie Fiebich, going up 64-62 with 7:09 remaining. They extended it with a clutch Ionescu three at the 5:25 mark.

New York held on in the final minutes, going up 74-68 off of Jones’ third three of the afternoon. Sun guard Tyasha Harris buried a three to bring Connecticut within one, but Jones responded with her fourth triple at the 1:15 mark — a career-high for the seventh-year center.

The Liberty’s fourth-ranked defense showed up when it mattered the most, as Stewart rejected Dijonai Harrington’s layup with 55 seconds to play.

New York improved to 10-2 on the season. The Liberty also punched their ticket to the Commissioner’s Cup Championship, slated for June 25.

Aside from Ionsescu’s 24 points, the Liberty were also helped by Jones’ 22 points on 9-14 shooting from the field, and Stewart’s 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists. The Sun had six players score in double figures — including Bonner’s 16 points, Thomas’ near triple-double (10 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists), and Mitchell’s 12 — but Connecticut came up short of history.

Up next, the Liberty will look to make it seven in a row against the winless Washington Mystics on Sunday at noon ET, while the Sun aim to get back on track against Caitlin Clark and the Indiana Fever on Monday.

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