The second-seeded New York Liberty held serve in Game 2 against the third-seeded Connecticut Sun, securing an 84-77 victory Tuesday at Barclays Center to even the WNBA semifinals at one game apiece. Now play shifts to Mohegan Sun Arena, with both teams looking to gain a commanding edge in the best-of-five series.
After opening as a 5.5-point favorite, New York is down to -4 (-110) for Friday’s Game 3 (7:30 p.m. ET). The Liberty is also -175 on the moneyline, while Connecticut is +4 (-110) on the spread and +155 to win outright. The projected total is 159 (-108 Over, -112 Under), down from 162.5.
To get you ready for the matchup, we break down the Liberty vs Sun odds in our game preview.
New York Liberty vs Connecticut Sun
Date & Time:
Location: Mohegan Sun Arena; Uncasville, Conn.
Liberty vs Sun Betting Trends
The Connecticut Sun have covered the spread in four of their last five games and are 26-17-1 ATS overall, including 12-10 at home. Meanwhile, the New York Liberty are 20-24 ATS, including just 1-6 in their last seven games. The total has gone Over in six of the Liberty’s last seven games. That’s important to remember when assessing the Liberty vs Sun odds.
Stewart Still Searching Offensively
The New York Liberty relied on their usual cast of stars in Game 2, as the starting lineup combined for 82 of New York’s 84 points. Sabrina Ionescu scored a team-high 21 points, while Betnijah Laney added 20 points.
While Breanna Stewart had another off-shooting night, finishing with 11 points on 3 of 13 from the floor, she did just about everything else for New York. The newly named WNBA MVP contributed 11 rebounds, five assists, and five blocks.
New York still wasn’t overly efficient. However, unlike Game 1, the Liberty still found ways to produce offensively. They were a perfect 16 for 16 from the free-throw line and were more successful from beyond the arc, knocking down 38.5% of their 3-point attempts.
Moving forward, the Liberty will need to make life easier on themselves around the basket. That may start with Stewart, who still hasn’t gotten into a groove this postseason. She’s shooting 27.8% from the floor and just 9.5% from 3, well below her season averages. Part of that is a credit to Connecticut — the Sun led the WNBA in scoring defense, holding opponents to 79 points per game — but Stewart is usually able to overcome the toughest of challenges. There’s a reason why she’s one of the best WNBA players.
Hayes’ Dominance Not Enough
Veteran guard Tiffany Hayes rose to the occasion in Game 2, pouring in 30 points on 12 of 19 shooting (5 of 8 from 3). But she didn’t get enough help, as the Sun shot 39.7% from the field. Alyssa Thomas — who finished runner-up to Stewart in the MVP voting — was just 2 of 13 shooting, though she did have nine assists and eight boards.
Thomas was Connecticut’s driving force much of the season — she averaged nearly a triple-double, with 15.5 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 7.8 assists — helping her team secure the WNBA’s third-best record at 27-13. She recorded a single-season record six triple-doubles, giving her 10 for her career. But her contributions only went so far for the Sun despite Hayes’ personal playoff high.
DeWanna Bonner, Thomas’ fiancee, contributed 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
The Sun were relentless defensively through most of the season, and that’ll need to continue for them to have any hope of knocking off New York, one of the WNBA’s “Super Teams.” Opponents are now averaging 72.8 points against Connecticut this postseason per WNBA scores. Keep that in mind when analyzing the Liberty vs Sun odds.
Handicapping the Game
New York has maintained a decided edge in this series, with five wins in six meetings this season. But the series now shifts to Mohegan Sun Arena, where the Sun has fared quite well. Connecticut is 14-8 at home, though it did lose there once to Minnesota in the opening round.
While that certainly won’t faze New York, Stewart’s recent slump — if you can even call it that — is enough to tilt the scales a bit. Connecticut is unforgiving defensively, and it’s managed to keep the five-time All-Star in check. Will that change? Perhaps. But Connecticut deserves some credit here. The Sun should be able to stay close in Game 3, if not win outright.
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