Liberty defeat Sparks in 25th anniversary of WNBA’s inaugural game


The New York Liberty and Los Angeles Sparks met at the Los Angeles Convention Center Sunday to celebrate the anniversary of the WNBA’s inaugural game between the two franchises.

The Liberty bested the Sparks 25 seasons ago, and it was New York that won again on Sunday, defeating Los Angeles 76-73.

The Liberty shot to a 44-36 lead in the first half despite Los Angeles’ sweltering defensive performance that held Betnijah Laney scoreless until late into the second quarter. A third-quarter push by the Sparks leveled the game at 58 going into the fourth.

Rebecca Allen led the Liberty in points with 19, collecting six rebounds and adding three assists. Allen also secured New York the win down the stretch, blocking back-to-back three-point attempts by Los Angeles in the game’s final possessions.

Sami Whitcomb followed close behind Allen, putting up 17 points and nine rebounds for the Liberty. Betnijah Laney started to heat up in the second half as well, adding 14 points, surpassing 1,000 career points during Sunday’s game.

New York’s victory over the Sparks ends a two-game losing streak for the Liberty as the team prepares to host the Sky on Tuesday. Los Angeles will stay at home to host the Mystics on Thursday.