Jones lead New York to Seven Straight Victory Past Washington (6-9-24)

By: Jaden Golding

Headline Photo Credit: WNBA

Brooklyn, NY- Led by a dominant 29-point performance from center Jonquel Jones, the New York Liberty defeated the Washington Mystics 93-88 on Sunday afternoon at the Barclays Center. With this victory, New York (11-2)  not only won its seventh straight but has defeated the Mystics in five straight head-to-head matchups including the 2023 playoffs. New York is also set to have home-court advantage for the Commissioner’s Cup Title Game. 

It was an overall competitive game for both teams. The game was tied 45-45 at halftime. 

In the third, it was a back-and-forth paced quarter with both teams trading buckets and not letting off the gas. After a Jones bucket to put the Liberty up 54-48 about two minutes in, Washington (0-12) took a timeout. They responded by going on an 11-0 run to take their largest lead of 59-54. Both teams traded leads the rest of the quarter with New York leading by two entering the fourth quarter. 

Jade Melbourne was having a career night performance. Helping Washington take another five-point lead early in the fourth by scoring seven straight points. Melbourne finished the night with a career-high 21 points off the bench, shooting 8-12 from the field and 3-6 from three. 

But unfortunately for the Mystics, New York would respond as they had been doing all night. Back-to-back three-pointers from Leoine Fiebich and Betnijah Laney-Hamilton gave the Liberty an 80-77 lead. The offenses would slow up down the final stretch with only four field goals made in total from the 7:43 mark until Sabrina Ionescu hit a floater with a minute-and-a-half remaining giving New York an 88-81 lead. 

Aaliyah Edwards would make a layup, split a pair of free throws, and a Myisha Hines-Allen steal and score made it a two-point game with 26 seconds. Washington intentionally fouled Ionescu who split the free throw attempts as the Liberty led 89-86. 

After a Mystics timeout, Melbourne hit a quick driving layup to cut it to one. Washington was able to trap Ionescu in the corner on the inbound, who was able to pass out the double to Laney-Hamilton who found a wide-open Jones for an easy score with 8 seconds left. 

Down three with their last opportunity, Washington found Melbourne who had been having a great shooting night for a stepback three-pointer that missed the mark ending any hopes of extra time. 

Breanna Stewart had 14 points, 7 rebounds, three assists, and five steals. Ionescu added 19 points and Fiebich scored 12 points with four three-pointers. 

Hines-Allen was also a bright spot off the bench for Washington flirting with a triple-double performance scoring 20 points to go along with 7 assists, and 8 rebounds. 

This is now the 9th out of the past 12 games where Washington has lost by single digits. It is frustrating to keep seeing this team that competes hard throughout the game fall short down the key stretches where they can make their mark to pull out the victory. This Washington squad can easily have one of the better records in the league if their late-game woes don’t keep repeating themselves. 

Washington is now five losses away from tying the worst consecutive losses to start a season that was set by the 2008 Atlanta Dream team.

Funny enough, Washington heads to Atlanta next and will look to end any thoughts about them catching up to that record. Hopefully the losing ends in Atlanta.