Liz Cambage is the new WNBA record-holder for points in a game. Here’s how she did it.
In a season where Liz Cambage has asserted herself as one of the great players in the WNBA, she just posted the greatest offensive performance in the history of the league.
Cambage scored 53 points, punctuating a remarkable, complete effort with her fourth three-pointer of the day, to set the WNBA record for most points in a single game, topping
“I just was feeling it, I guess,” Cambage said in a television interview following the game, a wide smile on her face. “It’s pretty big. I’ve had big numbers in China, I’ve had big numbers in Australia. I’ve heard a lot of people say I couldn’t have big numbers in the WNBA. I guess this game was for y’all.”
Cambage managed to score 53 in an absurdly efficient fashion. She hit 17 of her 22 shots from the field, made all but one of her attempts from three, and sank 15 of her 16 free throw attempts, putting up more than half of Dallas’ points in a 104-87 win over New York.
“She was hitting them from all over,” Liberty coach Katie Smith said following the game, per Dallas’ postgame press notes. “She wasn’t just lobbing them up and shooting layups. She was knocking down three balls left and right. I mean, she’s one of the best players in the world for her size, skill, yeah, she’s a tough guard. I’m disappointed we gave her that many, but kudos to her, she was on one tonight.”
The game raised her season average from 19.9 to 21.4, according to WNBA.com, lifting her into second place in the league’s scoring race, just behind Breanna Stewart.
Cambage is an almost-certain part of the WNBA All Star teams, the group of players set to be announced by the league on Tuesday night.
But the performance against the Liberty, which extended well beyond scoring—10 rebounds, five blocks, two assists, a steal and no turnovers despite a range of different defensive looks thrown at her by Katie Smith’s team—reinforces the part Cambage must play in any serious conversation about WNBA MVP, along with Stewart and Elena Delle Donne.
After the game, Wings president Greg Bibb ran and got the game ball, making sure he had it to present to Cambage. A child-heavy crowd game Cambage a standing ovation for perhaps the best all-around performance anyone had ever posted in WNBA history.
If there were any doubters left about what Cambage could do in the league, she provided an answer, and she seemed to enjoy every moment of it.
“Love you, Mom!” she shouted to the camera when it was over, and sprinted away to go celebrate.
Later on, she added this to reporters, per Wings postgame notes: “After the game, (Wings forward) Karima (Christmas) told me that I beat (former Wings/Tulsa Shock guard) Riquna (Williams)’ record with that three. I didn’t realize that was the record, it wasn’t my focus. My focus is to win every game. It’s nice to make history, but at the end of the day we have another game in two days. That happened today, and we’ve got to focus on tomorrow now.”