On Tuesday, Kelsey Mitchell and the Indiana Fever endured a rough opening quarter before they started to make things happen, rallying to win.
A night later, Sabrina Ionescu and the New York Liberty endured a rough opening 10 minutes … and only saw things get worse from there.
Two teams coming off significantly different results get together Friday night when the Fever visit the Liberty.
Indiana (1-2) seemed to be on the way to its third consecutive double-digit defeat when the Fever committed nine turnovers and managed just 12 points in the first quarter against the Minnesota Lynx. Mitchell was scoreless in the opening quarter but wound up with 26 points and the Fever wound up outscoring Minnesota 70-55 the rest of the way en route to an 82-76 victory.
“Kelsey Mitchell was a flat out All-Star today. She was an All-Star today, and we’re gonna start pushing that campaign that she be recognized as one of the better guards in the league,” Fever coach Marianne Stanley said. “You saw her at her best.”
Mitchell’s big performance occurred after she made just 6 of 20 in a 10-point loss to the Los Angeles Sparks on Sunday.
New York (1-1) has split its first two games with significantly different performances. The Liberty began the season by pulling out an 81-79 win over the Connecticut Sun in last Saturday’s home opener and then were dominated in an 83-50 loss to the host Chicago Sky on Wednesday.
Ionescu scored 25 points in the home opener but was held to two points on 0-of-5 shooting Wednesday. The Liberty mustered just 17 points in the first half and trailed by as many as 36 while shooting only 33 percent from the field.
“I think we just look at the things and learn from it,” New York guard Betnijah Laney said. “The things that didn’t work for us, we’ll talk about in film and practice. To not let it get us down, and to know it’s a process.”
This is the first of a three-game homestand for the Liberty, who host Dallas on Sunday and Connecticut on Tuesday. The Fever return home to face the Atlanta Dream in a pair of games Sunday and Tuesday.
–Field Level Media