Elbow to the Face Leaves Sabrina Ionescu’s Teammate on the Court as 32YO Veteran’s Nasty Foul Escapes the Same Fate as Weeks Before

Published 09/09/2023, 5:30 AM EDT

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Physical altercations are one of the few byproducts when playing a sport with high intensity levels. Although not common in basketball due to its non-collision nature, there are times when even that threshold is ignored. A great example of this is the incident of ‘Malice at the Palace’ an infamous incident that saw a physical altercation go out of bounds after two players got to arguing in the middle of the court. While the number of confrontations in the NBA has gone down recently the same cannot be said for the WNBA. The up-and-coming league has been very physical of late and continues to be carnal despite many penalties.

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Indiana Fever star Aliya Boston was recently penalized for elbowing an opponent with this physical act being one of many in the past few weeks. A similar incident ensued during a game last night but yielded different consequences as an official’s review overturned what seemed to be a flagrant foul.

A physical act goes unpunished after officials step in with a review

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During a recent match between the Los Angeles Sparks and the New York Liberty, guard Layshia Clarendon was penalized by the referees after she was seen elbowing Liberty forward Betnijah Laney on the face. With 10 seconds left on the shot clock the New York Liberty were leading by 7 as the 2017 WNBA All-Star was then called for a foul while trying to halve the deficit.

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Taking place in the final quarter of the game the incident happened as Clarendon drove into the paint trying to make a layup before catching Sabrina Ionescu’s teammate and sending her tumbling onto the court.

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The 32-year-old’s action was first deemed to be a flagrant one but on closer inspection by the officials was dismissed as an offensive foul as it was in no sense intentional.

This call on Layisha was served the same fate as one from a few weeks ago as the guard escaped without any harsh punishment.

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But while the game between the NY Liberty and the LA Sparks was marred by the elbow thrown by Clarendon, the incident was not enough to break the momentum built by the New York side.

Sabrina and Co take home the win as Clarendon goes unpunished

Although Layisha led the night in scoring with an impressive 30 points, it is the Liberty’s teamwork that got them the win.

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Beating the Sparks with a score of 96-89, the Liberty’s performance was led by Breanna Stewart’s 25 points followed by Betnijah Laney’s 20 who continued to play the game even after being elbowed into the ground. Star Sabrina Ionescu also had an important part to play in the victory as the guard contributed by putting up 15 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists.

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Written by:

Arian Kashyap

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Arian Kashyap is an NBA Writer at EssentiallySports. He has college degrees in Physical Education and Sport Sciences and has been writing since 2019. He actively follows the NBA, and though he is a Miami Heat fan, Arian likes to provide all NBA lovers with captivating content that also helps educate his readers.
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Edited by:

Aayush Kapoor

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