Sue Bird was victorious in what's likely to be her final road trip to her home state as the Seattle Storm took down the New York Liberty 81-72 on Sunday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Bird put the finishing touches on the victory by knocking down a three-pointer with 20.6 seconds on the clock.
The 12-time All-Star confirmed what many expected to be the case when she announced Thursday she will retire after the 2022 WNBA season. As a result, Sunday's contest carried an added significance.
Jackie Powell (she/her) @ClassicJpow
The New York Liberty honored Sue Bird with a 3+ minute tribute video and concluded the video with a gift presented to her by former Storm teammates Sami Whitcomb and Natasha Howard. <a href="https://twitter.com/TheNextHoops?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheNextHoops</a> <a href="https://t.co/csUsiqdttA">pic.twitter.com/csUsiqdttA</a>
New York Liberty players are wearing “Thank you, Sue. Love New York” warmup shirts ahead of Sue Bird’s final game in New York. Bird is famously from Long Island, so this stop is a homecoming on her final season tour before retirement. <a href="https://twitter.com/Winsidr?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Winsidr</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OwnTheCrown?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OwnTheCrown</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WNBA?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WNBA</a> <a href="https://t.co/tElgouhWxi">pic.twitter.com/tElgouhWxi</a>
In 23 minutes, Bird finished with 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting, four assists and three rebounds.
Sabrina Ionescu, meanwhile, filled up the stat sheet. Following two seasons that fell short of expectations, the 5'11" playmaker has turned a corner in 2022, narrowly missing out on her second triple-double (12 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds) of the campaign.
Doug Feinberg @DougFeinberg
Well it seems like every game we're on the triple-double watch with <a href="https://twitter.com/sabrina_i20?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@sabrina_i20</a>. She has 5 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists after one quarter as <a href="https://twitter.com/nyliberty?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nyliberty</a> trails 20-17
More than anything, though, this game illustrated why the Liberty are a much different team with Marine Johannes. The French guard matched Gabby Williams' game-high 23 points and only missed three of her 12 shot attempts.
Although the Liberty fall to 6-10 with Sunday's result, their performance has changed dramatically since their 1-7 start. And Johannes is a big reason why.
The Storm are trending in the right direction as well. They've won five of their last six games to improve their overall record to 10-6, the fourth-best mark in the WNBA.
While the odds of Williams dropping another 20-point game this year are slim, Seattle's championship odds will look a lot different, too, if the 25-year-old wing can provide consistent offense.