BROOKLYN – The Indiana Fever fell in its first road game of the season to the New York Liberty on Sunday at Barclays Center, 90-73.
The New York Liberty (1-1) opened the game on a quick note, going 6-of-8 from the field and took an early 15-4 lead within the first three minutes of play. The Liberty maintained control throughout the quarter and continued to extend its lead, ending the quarter up 36-14.
Fever forward NaLyssa Smith began to find her groove throughout the second quarter as she contributed nine points and pulled down seven rebounds to aid Indiana in closing the deficit. Smith finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds on the night for her ninth double-double of her career and first double-double of the 2023 season.
Indiana (0-2) came out of the locker room and scored a quick 15 points in the first four minutes of the half. Fever guards Kelsey Mitchell and Kristy Wallace found their own rhythm to start off the half, as Mitchell went 3-of-3 from the floor and Wallace contributed five of her 11 points in the third quarter. Despite allowing the Liberty to score only five points in the fourth quarter, which ties the third-fewest points given up by the Fever in a quarter, the deficit was too much to overcome for Indiana. Mitchell finished the game with 10 points and team-high three assists.
Fever center Aliyah Boston contributed 15 points of her own for the second consecutive game to begin her WNBA career while shooting 5-of-7 from the floor.
For the Liberty, forward Breanna Stewart stole the show as she recorded a career-high and New York Liberty franchise record 45 points in her home debut with the team. Stewart also pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds.
Liberty starting guard Sabrina Ionescu added nine points, eight rebounds and eight assists, while Jonquel Jones had 14 points in her home debut with the Liberty as well. Veteran guard Courtney Vandersloot rounded out the newest group of new Liberty additions with 11 points and eight assists.