Freak Aussie phenomenon stuns America
LIZ Cambage scored 53 points to set a WNBA record on Wednesday (AEST), leading the Dallas Wings to a 104-87 victory over the New York Liberty.
The 2.03m tall Australian reached 50 points on a three-point play with 2:19 remaining and broke Riquna Williams' WNBA record of 51 points, set in 2013, on an open three-pointer from the top of the key.
"It's pretty big," Cambage said. "I've had big numbers in China, I've had big numbers in Australia, and I've heard a lot of people say I could never have big numbers here in the WNBA. So I guess this game is for y'all."
Cambage was 17 of 22 from the field with 10 rebounds and five blocks for her ninth double-double of the season. She made 15 of 16 free throws and outscored the Liberty's starting line-up by 10 points.
Her previous best was 37 points in a WNBL game, which she shot past today.
Remarkably, Cambage's effort on the floor saw her achieve something not seen since Michael Jordan's playing days. He was the most recent NBA player with 50 points, 10 rebounds and 75 per cent shooting accuracy in an NBA game all the way back in 1996.
Aussie basketball icon Lauren Jackson was among those who praised Cambage for her record-breaking feat.
Cambage, who helped the Australia Opals to a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics, played for teams in Beijing and Shanghai from 2013-2016 and last season for the Melbourne Boomers before signing with the Wings last February.
Put some respect on Liz Cambage's name. She did something that hasn't been done since MJ. https://t.co/DxwQQJwWGj— Josh Hill (@jdavhill) 17 July 2018
Glory Johnson and Allisha Gray each added 13 points for Dallas (13-9), which won its first home game against New York since 2016.
Dallas coach Fred Williams was ejected with 1:44 remaining in the third quarter. New York took its first lead, 70-69, on the next possession, but Dallas opened the fourth quarter on a 12-3 run and cruised from there.
Kia Nurse scored 25 points, including four 3-pointers, and Tina Charles added 19 for New York. The Liberty (7-15) had won their previous two games. Cambage had 28 points in the first half to send the Wings to a 57-44 lead. She added five points in the third quarter and broke her previous high of 37 points on a three-point play with 7:29 remaining. She finished 4 of 5 from 3-point range.
Cambage returned to the Dallas franchise after sitting out the past four years. She was drafted by Tulsa with the second pick in 2011 behind Maya Moore. Moore is third in the WNBA for most points in a game, scoring 48 in a double- overtime game in 2014. Phoenix's Diana Taurasi had 47 points in a three-OT game in 2006.