Sabrina Ionescu had 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists and the seventh-seeded New York Liberty beat the defending champion Chicago Sky 98-91. Natasha Howard also had 22 points for the Liberty, who scored the final 13 points of the game.
Liberty, which won its first playoff game since Sept. 23, 2015, will play Game 2 of the best-of-three series at Chicago on Saturday. Betnijah Laney added 17 points and Stefanie Dolson scored 13 points for New York, which set a franchise scoring record in the playoffs.
Kahleah Copper led the second-seeded Sky with 21 points. Allie Quigley scored 18 points, Candace Parker had 17 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Chicago took an 87-81 lead with 6:36 to go, but they could not hold to it.
Kelsey Plum had 22 points and the top-seeded Las Vegas Aces beat the short-handed Phoenix Mercury 79-63 on Wednesday night. Chelsea Gray was vital for the Aces as she scored nine of her 17 points in the fourth quarter.
Gray made it 66-55 after spinning her defender in the lane and making a jumper from the free-throw line as Las Vegas took control in the fourth quarter. Jackie Young added 16 points for Las Vegas.
The Aces hosts Phoenix again on Saturday in Game 2 of a best-of-three series. Shey Peddy needed to be carried off the floor with 2:03 remaining in the third after a non-contact injury. Diamond DeShields had 18 points and eight rebounds for Phoenix.