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Sabrina Ionescu Ties Candace Parker's Career WNBA Triple-Doubles Record vs. Liberty

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 7, 2022

AP Photo/Adam Hunger

New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu is back level with Chicago Sky forward Candace Parker atop the WNBA's all-time triple-double leaderboard after tallying 31 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in Wednesday's road win over the Las Vegas Aces.

Ionescu and Parker each have three triple-doubles, with the Sky star holding the record to herself for just two weeks after regaining the top spot on June 23.

The Liberty cornerstone answered back with a spectacular performance that saw her become the first WNBA player to accomplish two feats as part of a triple-double: at least 30 points and no turnovers, per ESPN's Mechelle Voepel.

"I'm just trying to be the best that I can every time I step out on the floor," Ionescu said. "It's me versus me. I'm trying to get better and continue to learn from all the situations that I've been put in."

Ionescu is in the midst of a breakout season, averaging 17.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.1 steals across 21 appearances.

It's the type of All-Star play that was expected when the Liberty selected her with the first overall pick in the 2020 draft, but she was limited to three games as a rookie because of an ankle injury and then endured an up-and-down 2021 season.

Now she's playing like an MVP candidate, though she's more focused on trying to help the Liberty turn a corner after a sluggish start to the campaign.

"As long as we win, it doesn't matter, but I'm trying to be the best that I can in all aspects of the game," Ionescu told reporters after Wednesday's victory.

New York currently sits ninth in the WNBA standings with a 9-12 record, and the top eight squads qualify for the playoffs. The team has 15 games left in the regular season.

Although there's plenty of time left for movement up the standings—the Liberty are just one game behind sixth—it's worth pointing out the Sky sit atop the WNBA with a 15-6 mark, creating a path to a possible first-round showdown between Ionescu and Parker.

For now, they'll probably spend the remainder of the campaign trading the triple-double record back and forth.

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