A pair of rookies led their respective teams Saturday as the New York Liberty surged to an overtime victory to keep the Indiana Fever winless on the season, while Dallas pulled off an upset over a Seattle team that was looking for its sixth consecutive victory.
New York Liberty (87) vs. Indiana Fever (81) — in OT
For Indiana, Kelsey Mitchell led the home team with a career-high 26 points, but the record-breaking performance of New York’s Kia Nurse was the story of the night. Nurse came off the bench for the Liberty to score a game-high 34 points, including 8 points in overtime. With that, she captured the Liberty record for highest-scoring effort by a rookie and most points by a reserve, as well as the WNBA record for most points scored in a game by a Canadian player.
Meanwhile, the Fever now find themselves in an 0-6 hole, which is not only less than ideal in a short 34-game season, but it’s also their worst start in team history. While the play of Mitchell and Candice Dupree was encouraging, enough to come back from a 20-point third-quarter deficit to force overtime (the biggest comeback in WNBA regular-season history), they simply weren’t able to seal the deal.
Dallas Wings (94) vs. Seattle Storm (90)
The Storm came back from a 17-point halftime deficit to threaten late, but Dallas was able to put the game away on a pair of free throws by Skylar Diggins-Smith with 1.2 seconds remaining. Although troubled by injuries, the Wings were able to improve to 3-3 on the season behind a combined 52-point effort from Diggins-Smith (27 points) and Liz Cambage (25 points, 17 of which came in a frantic fourth quarter).
After making a WNBA-record 17 three-pointers in their win Thursday, the Storm cooled down considerably on Saturday, shooting 6-of-23 from beyond the arc. Breanna Stewart led Seattle with a game-high 28 points, marking her fifth consecutive game with 20 or more points. Meanwhile, Jewell Loyd saw her own five-game 20-point scoring streak end, as she came up short with 16 points. Rookie Jordin Canada got her first start for Seattle, picking up 9 points, 9 assists and 5 steals in the loss.
Up next for these teams:
The Liberty host Phoenix on Tuesday.
The Storm travel to Los Angeles on Thursday.
The Fever host the Wings on Friday.