Alyssa Thomas is leading the triple-double revolution.

Triple-doubles were a rare occurrence through most of WNBA history. Then came the year of the triple-double, with nine recorded during the 2022 season. And the pace has not slowed in 2023, with 11 as of Oct. 1.

Give credit to Thomas for the explosion. The Connecticut Sun forward recorded the first of her career on July 22, 2022, but finished that season with four — breaking the WNBA career record. And on Oct. 1, she recorded her seventh of 2023.

Thomas is the only WNBA player with more than two triple-doubles in a single season.

“Even myself as a coach, you have to intentionally tell yourself to not take these moments for granted,” Sun head coach Stephanie White said. “Like it just seems so routine that Alyssa Thomas gets a triple-double or close to a triple-double or a double-double. … It’s not routine, it’s exceptional.”

Five other players have recorded multiple triple-doubles: Candace Parker (3), Sabrina Ionescu (3), Sheryl Swoopes (2), Courtney Vandersloot (2) and Chelsea Gray (2).

“I think the game is changing,” Parker said following her third career triple-double in June 2022. “I think we’re gonna very soon see this on a nightly basis. We’re going to see those playmakers who have the ball in their hands.”

How many triple-doubles have been recorded in WNBA history?

In total, 31 triple-doubles have been recorded across the league’s 27 seasons, with 26 during the regular season and five during the playoffs. The 31 triple-doubles have come from 14 total players.

Swoopes recorded the first playoff triple-double in 2005, while Vandersloot did so in 2021. Thomas joined the club with two in the 2022 WNBA Finals, and then added another in the 2023 semifinals.

Sheryl Swoopes (2)

Swoopes recorded the league’s first-ever triple-double on July 27, 1999, while playing for the Houston Comets. She recorded 14 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists. She would later get her second triple-double on September 3, 2005, with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Margo Dydek

While with the Utah Starzz, Dydek had 12 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks on June 7, 2001. Dydek remains the only WNBA player to have recorded a triple-double through blocks and not assists.

Lisa Leslie

Leslie set a new bar on September 9, 2004, recording 29 points, 15 rebounds and 10 blocks for the Los Angeles Sparks. That stood as the record for most points in a triple-double until Ionescu broke it in 2022.

Deanna Nolan

On May 21, 2005, Nolan recorded the first of two triple-doubles that year. That 2005 season became the first with multiple triple-doubles. She had 11 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists for the Detroit Shock.

Temeka Johnson

As a member of the Seattle Storm, Johnson recorded 13 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists on July 24, 2014.

Candace Parker (3)

It took nine seasons for Parker to record her first triple-double. On July 28, 2017, she had 11 points, 17 rebounds and 15 assists for the Los Angeles Sparks.

Her other two came with the Chicago Sky in 2022, with Parker recording the first triple-double of the year on May 22, with 16 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. While she became the oldest player to record a triple-double in WNBA history in that game, she later became the first player to record three triple-doubles in league history with another on June 23 (10 points, 10 rebounds, 14 assists).

Courtney Vandersloot (2)

Vandersloot recorded the first of her two triple-doubles on July 20, 2018, with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists. She registered her second triple-double during the 2021 postseason, notching 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Chelsea Gray (2)

As a member of the Los Angeles Sparks, Gray recorded a triple-double on July 7, 2019. She had 13 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists.

In 2023, she notched the second of her career with the Aces in a rivalry win over the Liberty. She finished with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

Sabrina Ionescu (3)

Ionescu’s first triple-double came on May 18, 2021, when she recorded 26 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists — the highest point total since Leslie’s triple-double in 2004.

She bested that number with a 27-point, 13-rebound and 12-assist performance on June 12, 2022. Then, against the Aces on July 7, Ionescu set the record for points in a triple-double with 31 — the first 30-plus-point triple-double. She added 13 rebounds and 10 assists in that game.

Moriah Jefferson

Jefferson added her name to the list on June 28, 2022, with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the first triple-double in Minnesota Lynx history.

Courtney Williams

On June 30, 2023, Williams contributed 12 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists for the Chicago Sky in a win over the Los Angeles Sparks.

Satou Sabally

The Dallas Wings’ Satou Sabally recorded her first triple-double on July 28, 2023, putting up 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in the Dallas Wings’ win over the Washington Mystics.

She is the second player in Wings history to achieve a triple-double, joining Deanna Nolan. Nolan had one in 2005 when the franchise was in Detroit.

Sug Sutton

The final pick of the 2020 WNBA Draft at No. 36 overall, Sutton has bounced around the league over the last four seasons, but she inked her name in the history books with her first triple-double on Sept. 8, 2023. The 24-year-old guard had 18 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for the Phoenix Mercury in a 94-73 loss to the Las Vegas Aces.

Alyssa Thomas (11)

Thomas recorded the first triple-double of her career and the first in Connecticut Sun history on July 22, 2022. The star forward tallied 15 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.

Less than two weeks later, on Aug. 2, 2022, Thomas posted 10 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists to become just the third player in WNBA history to record multiple triple-doubles in a single season — joining Parker and Ionescu, who also did so in 2022.

She added yet another — and the first in WNBA Finals history — on Sept. 15, with 16 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists in a Game 3 win against the Las Vegas Aces. Then she followed it up with still another in the team’s series-clinching loss to Las Vegas, notching 11 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds to become the first WNBA player to post back-to-back triple-doubles.

On June 20, 2023, Thomas posted her fifth career triple-double, with 13 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists. Her sixth came just five days later on June 25, in a 14-point, 11-rebound and 12-assist performance. Then, just two days after that, Thomas recorded her third triple-double in eight days, with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Her eighth came on July 30, 2023, with Thomas putting up 17 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists. And her ninth came on Aug. 1, with 21 points, 20 rebounds and 12 assists.

Thomas kept it rolling, with her 10th coming on Sept. 5, 2023. She recorded 27 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds, as well as 6 steals. She’s the first player in WNBA history with 25 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and 5 steals in a game.

“I’m doing something that’s never been done in the league before,” Thomas said following that performance. “And I’m making it look easy. And by no means are triple-doubles easy. Credit goes to my teammates.”

In the 2023 playoffs, she posted the 11th triple-double of her career in the WNBA semifinals, with 17 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists.

Satou Sabally is the WNBA’s Most Improved Player for 2023.

Sabally was announced as the recipient of the award Thursday after averaging 18.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. The former second round pick was named to the All-Rookie team in 2020 and was an All-Star in 2021. Yet since her rookie season, she had struggled with injuries, playing just 44 games total across her first three seasons, including just 11 in 2022.

This year, though, she has started in all 38 games for Dallas. And she also has set career bests almost across the board.

Her previous career high in points stood at 13.9 per game in her rookie season. That year also provided her previous high for rebounds, with 7.8 per game. And before this season, she hadn’t averaged over 2.8 assists per game.

She also made the WNBA All-Star Game, and she made history in July when she became just the second player in Dallas Wings’ history to record a triple-double.

“I just wanted to showcase who I am,” Saballly told Sports Illustrated recently, “because I feel like a lot of times over these three past years I wasn’t on the court enough that people could really understand who I really am, so I just wanted to present myself to the world in the right way.”

Having been with Dallas since 2020, Sabally also has stepped into more of a leadership role on a young Wings team.

“I do feel like I have to show up every single night, and I think that is expected and I have accepted that role,” she said. “Even, you know, just stepping into a leadership role, accepting that I can’t be silent, even if I may have a game where I want to be a little bit more introverted and keep that energy to myself, you just can’t do that as a leader, and I think that is something that I’ve been trying to accept.”

A close contest between the Minnesota Lynx and Dallas Wings ended in chaos on Tuesday, as the Lynx’s 91-86 win was overshadowed by ejections, heated exchanges and condemning social media posts.

Wings forward Satou Sabally twisted her ankle with 25 seconds left after landing on Bridget Carleton’s foot following a shot attempt. It was ruled a flagrant foul, as Carleton didn’t give Sabally space to land, and Carleton was ejected from the contest for her second flagrant of the game.

As Sabally sat on the ground nursing her ankle, several Lynx fans behind the bench cheered for the injury, which Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve condemned after the game.

One fan was ejected, and Reeve apologized to Wings coach Latricia Trammell as it happened.

“There’s no place for that,” Reeve later told reporters. “I was disappointed. I apologized. Our fans are passionate. You just can’t cross the line of celebrating someone’s injury. We wouldn’t want that. We apologize that that happened to Satou.”

Sabally responded in the moment by blowing a kiss to the crowd after knocking down a free throw. When fans continued to yell, she cupped her hand around her ear in a “I can’t hear you” motion.

At least one other person was escorted out of the arena by security before the game ended.

After the game, Sabally took to social media to address the situation.

“Disgusting fan base in Minny. The Schadenfreude to see someone get hurt can’t be a WNBA culture. Terrible words from the sidelines all game long,” she wrote.

The fan behavior started long before the last 25 seconds of the game, according to Dallas guard Crystal Dangerfield, who played for Minnesota in 2020.

“I’m shocked,” she said. “We have fans saying outrageous things to players. Wishing bad on someone about an injury is out of pocket. It started at the beginning of the game, and it needs to be taken care of. And it’s not just here (in Minnesota). It happens other places as well.”

The controversy overshadowed what was an important win for the Lynx. They improved to 16-17, tying them with the Atlanta Dream for the fifth-best record in the league. The victory also avenges a 40-point loss to Dallas back in July, and marks Minnesota’s first win over the Wings in three meetings this season.

The teams play again on Thursday, this time in Dallas.

Eden Laase is a Staff Writer at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @eden_laase.

With one month of regular season games left to play, the WNBA MVP race is getting serious as players make their cases on the court.

From 40-point games to triple-doubles, three candidates are routinely putting on MVP-level performances and are ahead of the rest, while three others deserve a mention.

Top contenders

A’ja Wilson, Las Vegas Aces

Last year’s MVP and Defensive Player of the Year is once again a leader for both awards. The Aces are the top team in the WNBA and the favorites to win the championship, and Wilson is the heart of their offense and defense.

A player who dominates both ends of the court automatically has a leg up in MVP conversations, and Wilson certainly does. She’s averaging a near double-double with 21.2 points and 9.6 rebounds per game, while recording 2.2 blocks on the defensive end. Wilson’s importance to the Aces goes well beyond her impressive stat line, though.

Defensively, her rim protection allows the Las Vegas guards to play intense on-ball defense and take risks that lead to run-outs. They know if they get beat off the dribble, Wilson is there to clean up.

Some will argue against Wilson’s case for MVP because of the talent she has around her, with her All-Star and All-WNBA teammates carrying much of the responsibility. On the flip side, the Aces have four elite offensive weapons — including Chelsea Gray, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young — but they know running things through Wilson is the best way to win. It’s working, as Wilson takes the most shots out of anyone on the team at 14.3 per game, and Las Vegas has the best record in the WNBA at 27-3.

And with Candace Parker out after having surgery on her foot, Wilson has taken on an even greater role. Starting on July 11, she went on an eight-game stretch of 20 or more points per game. Since then, she’s scored over 20 points in 11 of her team’s last 12 contests, including a career-high 40 points in a win over the Mystics on Friday.

(Elsa/Getty Images)

Breanna Stewart, New York Liberty

To reach MVP status, a player has to do things that no one else has. Stewart certainly does that. Teammate Courtney Vandersloot has called the New York Liberty forward “the best player in the world,” and she has a point.

The Liberty have 11 games left in the regular season, and Stewart has already set a WNBA record by becoming the first player in history to record three 40-point games in a single season. Her first came in New York’s home opener, when Stewart dropped 45 in a win over the Fever. She did it again on July 5 in a win over the Mercury, and most recently in another victory over the Fever on Sunday.

Stewart’s season stats are also MVP-worthy. She’s averaging 23.3 points (second in the WNBA), 9.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. Stewart has been consistent in her scoring efforts, finishing with single-digit points just once in her team’s 30 games.

The Liberty have the second-best record in the league at 24-6, but things haven’t necessarily been easy for the team. They were dubbed a “superteam” after bringing in Stewart, Jonquel Jones and Vandersloot to join Sabrina Ionescu and Betnijah Laney in the offseason, but early on the group of stars failed to mesh. Notably, Jones was nursing an injury at the beginning of the season that kept the former MVP from performing at the level people expected.

Through the ups and downs, Stewart was the guiding force, almost single-handedly keeping her team afloat. Now they are reaping the benefits, as one of the favorites (alongside the Aces) to win the WNBA title. That’s something the Liberty have never accomplished despite being one of the league’s first franchises. With Stewart on their roster, it’s suddenly a real possibility.

Stewart and Wilson will go head-to-head twice this week, first in the WNBA Commissioner’s Cup championship game on Tuesday and again in their teams’ final regular-season meeting of the season on Thursday.

(Erica Denhoff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Alyssa Thomas, Connecticut Sun

Stewart and Wilson will likely battle it out for the MVP trophy — conversations surrounding the award so far this season have skewed toward one or the other — but the Sun’s Alyssa Thomas deserves the same amount of attention.

The Sun are a contending team, currently third in the league with a 21-9 record. Along with the Aces and Liberty, they are one of just three teams in the WNBA with over 20 wins.

A lot changed for Connecticut in the offseason, as Jonquel Jones departed for New York and Curt Miller took a head coaching job with the Los Angeles Sparks. A drop-off from last year’s Finals appearance was expected but never happened. The Sun have stayed in contention against all odds, including an injury to reigning WNBA Sixth Player of the Year Brionna Jones, and Thomas is the biggest reason why.

Statistically, no single category jumps off Thomas’ stat page, but when you add it all together, you get the WNBA’s triple-double queen. Thomas isn’t scoring 20 points a game, but it’s hard to argue that anyone is more important to their team than she is to the Sun.

Thomas is averaging 15.3 points, 10.1 rebounds and 8.1 assists per game. She also does the majority of Connecticut’s ball-handling, boasting a 4.1-to-1.6 assist-to-turnover record. Thomas has been stuffing the stat sheet all season and currently holds the WNBA record for triple-doubles, with five so far in 2023. Thomas does a little bit — or in some cases a lot — of everything for her team, making her a perfect MVP candidate.

Other candidates worth mentioning

At least three other WNBA players come to mind as having MVP-type seasons. But a large part of the criteria for the award is playing for a team in contention to win a title, and right now, these players don’t fall into that category.

(Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Satou Sabally, Dallas Wings

The Wings have the goods to make a playoff run, thanks to Arike Ogunbowale, Natasha Howard, Satou Sabally and a group of skilled role players. Sabally is healthy after battling injuries over the last couple of years, and she’s having the best season of her life.

The Oregon product is averaging 18.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.7 steals per game, making her an asset all over the court. The Wings are currently in fourth place in the WNBA at 16-14, with impressive wins over the Aces, Liberty and Sun.

Napheesa Collier, Minnesota Lynx

With WNBA legend Sylvia Fowles in retirement, the Lynx are officially Collier’s team, and she’s up for the challenge. The 2019 first-round pick is averaging a career-high in points with 21.4 per contest, to go along with 7.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.5 steals per game. The Lynx are fifth in the WNBA at 14-16.

Jewell Loyd, Seattle Storm

The Storm star is taking on a huge role for her team now that Stewart is gone and Sue Bird has retired. She’s leading the WNBA with 24.1 points per game and 3.1 made 3-pointers per game. But Seattle is 10th in the WNBA, making it hard for Loyd to make a real case for the MVP award.

Eden Laase is a Staff Writer at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @eden_laase.

Satou Sabally made an emphatic return to the Dallas Wings, draining a stunning half-court shot Thursday in the opening game of the team’s first-round playoff series against the Connecticut Sun.

The 24-year-old appeared in her first game since July 12 after an ankle injury sidelined Sabally through the second half of the WNBA regular season. She wasted no time in making an impact.

Including her first-quarter buzzer-beater, Sabally notched ten points, two assists and two rebounds in 15 minutes on the court. But the Sun overwhelmed the Wings with a comprehensive performance on both sides of the court, pulling off a commanding 93-68 victory.

Allisha Gray led Dallas with 17 points, five rebounds and two assists, while Tyasha Harris added 13 points, five rebounds and three assists.

Five Connecticut players finished in the double figures, including Jonquel Jones, who led all scorers with 19 points, and Alyssa Thomas, who logged a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

“We just wanted to come out with the same intensity as we started the game with,” Jones said. “Third quarters of the regular season for us, we kind of didn’t come out as strong as we would have wanted to. So we wanted to make sure that we put an emphasis on that and that we just ride that playoff intensity.”

The first-round series continues Sunday at Mohegan Sun Arena, with Game 2 airing at noon ET on ESPN.