Going into last night’s game, the Las Vegas Aces sat on top of the WNBA standings whereas the New York Liberty were closer to the bottom. If the season ended yesterday, the Aces would have been the #1 seed going into the WNBA Playoffs and the Liberty would have been on the outside looking in.
So even though the Aces have struggled as of late, they were playing at home. I would have used my ice casino promo code to bet on Las Vegas coming out with the win. And honestly, the Aces would have won had New York not gotten career nights from both Sabrina Ionescu and Han Xu.
Ionescu, the #1 pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft, balled out by recording the league’s first 30 point triple double. The 5-10 point guard was all over the floor; rebounding the ball, setting up teammates and launching three point bombs from every angle. She ended up with 31 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.
Ionescu’s tenth assist came with less than two minutes in the game and the pass went to another Liberty player that had a career night. Doubled near the sideline, she passed the ball to 6-10 Chinese center Han Xu who nailed a mid-range jumper. Not only did that give Ionescu her triple double, but that was Xu’s 10 made field goal in as many attempts.
The 22-year old Han Xu would end up 11 for 12 from the field with a career high of 24 points off the bench including two three pointers. Han also collected a career-high eight rebounds.
HAN XU 👏
➡ 24 PTS
➡ 8 REB
➡ 3 AST pic.twitter.com/R5pJuw3aCD
— WNBA (@WNBA) July 7, 2022
Postgame, Ionescu was asked about her performance and on Xu’s impact on the game, she was clearly impressed.
“She’s incredible. What was she from the floor?” Ionescu asked as she glanced at the stat sheet in front of her. “It says right here that she was 11-12. Her ability to score at three levels whether it’s mid range, in the paint or three at her height. Her poise at her age. It’s incredible to watch.”
For the WNBA history buffs out there, Han Xu’s near-perfect 11-12 shooting is reminiscent of fellow countrywoman Haixia Zheng’s performance back in 1997 when the 6-8 Chinese center shot 10-11 from the field and grabbed nine rebounds; leading the Los Angeles Sparks over the Sacramento Monarchs.
The Liberty needed all of Sabrina’s and Han’s points as they defeated the Aces 116-107 in an absolute shootout that set several franchise records for the Liberty. Ionescu’s triple double gave her three for her career; tying Candance Parker for the most triple doubles. Natasha Howard contributed 18 points for New York while A’ja Wilson led the Las Vegas Aces with 29 points and nine rebounds.