Liberty suffer blowout loss in Sabrina Ionescu’s return

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Sabrina Ionescu returned to the New York Liberty lineup, but it didn’t make a difference in this one.

Kelsey Plum scored 18 points and A’ja Wilson added 17 as the Las Vegas Aces continued their dominance over the Liberty with a 103-76 home victory Thursday.

Chelsea Gray had 15 points for Las Vegas, while Liz Cambage had 13 points and nine rebounds as the Aces won their fifth consecutive game. Three of those victories came against the Liberty to complete the season series between the teams in a span of 15 days.

Ionescu, the Liberty’s third-leading scorer, came off the bench after missing the last two games with an ankle injury. She scored one point on 0-of-5 shooting from the field in 15 minutes.

Las Vegas (10-3) has won eight of its past nine games overall.

Betnijah Laney scored 20 points and Reshanda Gray added 17 as the Liberty (6-6) lost for the fifth time in their last six games after opening the season 5-1. Rebecca Allen scored 14 points for New York, which is 1-3 on a five-game road trip that ends Sunday at Los Angeles.

Sabrina Ionescu returned to the lineup after missing two games with an ankle injury, but the Liberty still suffered a 103-76 blowout loss to the Aces.
Sabrina Ionescu returned to the lineup after missing two games with an ankle injury, but the Liberty still suffered a 103-76 blowout loss to the Aces.
NBAE via Getty Images

Riquna Williams scored all 11 of her points for Las Vegas in a 1:25 stretch of the second quarter to turn a 26-21 lead into a 37-23 advantage. The Aces were never threatened from there, taking a 55-34 lead into halftime on 19-for-39 shooting (48.7 percent) in the first two quarters.

The Aces pushed their lead to 75-50 on a pair of free throws from Wilson with 2:42 remaining in the third quarter and had an 80-57 advantage at the start of the fourth quarter. Las Vegas improved to 6-1 at home.

Plum led the Aces in scoring one game after scoring a career-best 32 points against the Liberty on Tuesday. With the game in hand early, Cambage played just seven minutes for Las Vegas in the second half.

The Aces outrebounded the Liberty 52-36 while holding the Liberty to 31.3 percent shooting from the field. Las Vegas made 44.2 percent of its field-goal attempts.

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