Liberty’s Sabrina Ionescu records first 30-point triple-double in WNBA history in win over Aces

Another game, another history-making performance from New York City security guard Sabrina Ionescu. During the Liberty’s impressive 116-107 win over the Las Vegas Aces on Wednesday night, Ionescu put together the best game of her young career, finishing with 31 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists to complete the first 30-point triple-double in the WNBA to make history.

The previous record for highest-scoring triple-doubles was held by Lisa Leslie, who had 29 points, 15 rebounds and a staggering 10 blocks in 2004. Ionescu’s previous top-scoring triple-doubles were 27 and 26 points. No one else in WNBA history has ever had a 20-point triple-double.

This was the second triple-double of the season for Ionescu and the third of her career, tying her with Candace Parker for the longest time ever. These two are also the only two players to ever have multiple triple-doubles in a single season, and both did so in 2022.

The Liberty were up to 12 behind at the start and 8 down at halftime, but Ionescu just didn’t want to let them lose. On Liberty’s first possession from the break, they found Marine Johannes for 3 substitutions and never looked back. In the second half alone, she had 12 points, nine rebounds and eight assists to nearly record a triple-double. Late in the fourth quarter, she put the game ahead by either scoring or assisting on 12 straight points.

While the 31 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists stand out, it’s worth noting that Ionescu also shot 10 of 13 from the field, including a career-high 7 of 8 from 3-point land, and had zero turnovers. As if her other records weren’t enough, it was also the first no-turnover triple-double in WNBA history.

Triple-doubles aren’t the be-all and end-all, of course, and there have been more significant performances in terms of playoff importance, but one could argue that in a contextless vacuum, this is perhaps the best-of-all-round performance in league history. At least it’s right up there.

Thanks to Ionescu’s big night and a brilliant performance from Han Xu, who had a career-high 24 points and eight rebounds on 11-of-12 on the field, the Liberty snapped a minor two-game losing streak to improve to 9-12 on the season . After a disastrous 1-7 start, they are within a half game of the playoffs.

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