Sports

The WNBA was pretty damn awesome on Opening Night, as real ones already knew would be the case


Diana Taurasi and the Phoenix Mercury celebrate their opening night win.

Diana Taurasi and the Phoenix Mercury celebrate their opening night win.
Image: Getty Images

Sabrina Ionescu stole the show, but she wasn’t alone in making a significant impact on night one of the WNBA season.

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(She did have 25 points, 11 assists, and a buzzer-beater reminiscent of Kobe Bryant, whose jersey she wore heading into Barclays Center, though.)

But aside from the New York Liberty beating the Indiana Fever 90-87, who were actually led by 30 points from Betnijah Laney, the league spawned other spectacular showings on opening night of their 25th season.The Minnesota Lynx and Phoenix Mercury engaged in a back-and-forth showing where Diana Taurasi — who’s out here still gettin’ buckets — washed away a struggling 2-for-12 shooting performance by drilling the game-winner on attempt No. 13. But the gall, the confidence, to stare Kayla McBride in the face on her Minnesota Lynx debut and launch off a behind-the-back dribble pull-up from about 30-feet away with a few seconds left — dayum. (The clock froze at 6.8.)

Taurasi and McBride had a great head-to-head three years ago that this moment might’ve brought you back to. The Mercury won 77-75, and their starters, all of whom finished in double figures, combined for 72 points.

The post-Candace Parker-era didn’t start off well for the Los Angeles Sparks, with Allisha Gray and Arike Ogunbowale combining for 40 points. Gray and Ogunbowale shot a combined 13-of-27 and spoiled Derek Fisher’s 2021 home opener by continually getting into the lane with ease.

And Jonquel Jones bullied her way to 26 points and eight rebounds on 10-of-15 shooting for the Connecticut Sun in a 78-67 win over the Atlanta Dream.

But the Dream did feature the first all-Black women broadcast in WNBA history just days after co-owner Suzanne Abair said they’re, “not betting on women, (they’re) investing in women.”

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Today, Parker makes her debut with the Chicago Sky, and the WNBA Finals 2020 match-up of the Seattle Storm and Las Vegas Aces will have their rematch.

And here’s your PSA for the day: A WNBA full-season League Pass is $16.99. That’s a whole season. For 17 bucks. That’s … a Taurasi steal.

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