Sabrina Ionescu, one of the best players in the WNBA, blew everyone away on Saturday by putting on a shooting exhibition that was unlike any other on her route to winning the WNBA 3-Point Shootout at the 2023 WNBA All-Star weekend. Her performance earned her the title of champion.
Ionescu, who is the starting point guard for the New York Liberty, broke the all-time record in a 3-point shooting competition held by the NBA or the WNBA by scoring 37 out of a possible 40 points. She did this by setting a new high score. This total is six points more than the previous NBA record of 31 points, which is held jointly by Stephen Curry and Tyrese Haliburton of the Indiana Pacers. Tyrese Haliburton scored 31 points in 2023 while playing for the Indiana Pacers. Ionescu’s ultimate score is also seven points higher than the previous WNBA record of 30, which was set by four-time 3-point shootout winner Allie Quigley (who was then playing for the Chicago Sky).
Ionescu ended up converting 25 of the potential 27 shots, and at one point during the game, she made 20 consecutive shots, much to the audience’s astonishment. Strangely, the 25-year-old player failed to make her first shot of the round, but she went on to make her next 20 shots, setting a new record for the most straight shots made in a row. Her next miss occurred in the final ball of the fourth rack, but she went on to make history by successfully sinking all of her shots in the last five balls of the match. In addition, she was successful with both of her efforts from Starry Range, located approximately two to three feet beyond the 3-point line.
It would appear that even Curry himself was amazed, as he referred to Ionescu’s display of skill as “ridiculous.”
Ionescu responded, “Yeah, I knew they were going in,” when she was asked about her fantastic shooting show during the winner’s interview immediately after it. “You’ve got to have some adrenaline. It was the culmination of all of the competition. I had just been defeated in the Skills [Challenge], and there was no way I would let it happen again.
Ionescu’s performance, which broke the record, was particularly noteworthy because it occurred in the last round. As a result, there needed to be more room for debate on who the most skilled shooter in the competition was. Ionescu is now second in the WNBA in made threes this season while shooting a fourth-best 44.6% from deep, so this development did not come as a surprise to anyone.