WNBA Twitter Sounds Off on Sue Bird vs. Sabrina Ionescu's Final Matchup in New York

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 19, 2022

BROOKLYN, NY - JUNE 19: Sue Bird #10 of the Seattle Storm plays defense on Sabrina Ionescu #20 of the New York Liberty during the game on June 19, 2022 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Evan Yu/NBAE via Getty Images)
Evan Yu/NBAE via Getty Images

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.


.<a href="https://twitter.com/S10Bird?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@S10Bird</a>’s final bucket in New York 🥹🧡 <a href="https://t.co/tQ8hqXmpfX">pic.twitter.com/tQ8hqXmpfX</a>

ESPN @espn

"BING BONG!"<br><br>Sue Bird out here having a blast in NY 😂 <a href="https://t.co/oeKilrj8gS">pic.twitter.com/oeKilrj8gS</a>

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>

Myles @MylesEhrlich

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&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OwnTheCrown</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WNBA?src=hash&amp;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.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Sabrina with the RANGE 🎯<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/nyliberty?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nyliberty</a>)<a href="https://t.co/sPFZTVzdlC">pic.twitter.com/sPFZTVzdlC</a>


SAB ➡️ JOHANNES 🤩<a href="https://twitter.com/sabrina_i20?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@sabrina_i20</a> is now 2 rebounds away from her 3rd career triple-double 👀 <a href="https://t.co/quHdyE8bsL">pic.twitter.com/quHdyE8bsL</a>

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.

James Kay @James_M_Kay

Between Han Xu's agility in the post/ability to score off the dribble at 6'10, Sabrina Ionescu taking a leap/her improved chemistry w/Natasha Howard, Marine Johannès' wizardry as a facilitator, etc...this New York Liberty team has become so fun to watch.

Mark Schindler @MG_Schindler

Marine Johannes’ jumper is one of the most aesthetic I’ve ever seen<br><br>If a superhero took jumpers, that’s how it’d look with that flair and energy

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.