Sabrina Ionescu stepped up huge for the New York Liberty on Wednesday, but it was Marine Johannès who had the highlight of the night.
New York stole Game 1 of their first-round WNBA playoffs with their 98-91 win over the Chicago Sky at Wintrust Arena. Ionescu scored 22 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the field and was 3-for-6 from the 3-point line. The No. 1 pick of the 2020 WNBA Draft also added seven rebounds, six assists and two steals on the night.
But Johannès’ no-look pass may have been what turned the game around. The Liberty guard took a pass from Ionescu and drew the attention of three Sky players and flipped a pass behind her back and over her head to Natasha Howard for the easy lay-up.
Check out the play below.
The assist was Johannès’ seventh of the night. The 27-year-old scored eight points and had two rebounds and two steals off the bench.
New York’s win was the Liberty’s first playoff win since Sept. 23, 2015, and New York broke a franchise record for points scored in a playoff game with 98, according to the WNBA.
It also presents a unique scenario as the pivotal third game in the best-of-three series will be played at the Liberty’s home court, Barclays Center. It was a situation Sky general manager and head coach James Wade was not a fan of and something higher seeded teams like the Connecticut Sun could deal with if they lose to the Dallas Wings on Thursday.
New York, obviously, has no problem with this as Ionescu and Johannès showed how dangerous the Liberty can be in the WNBA playoffs.