NEW YORK – When asked Tuesday about what crossed her mind during her 34-point outburst Saturday against the Indiana Fever, New York Liberty rookie Kia Nurse’s answer was simple.
“Nothing, that’s why I was so good,” Nurse said.
.@KayNurse11 went OFF for 34 points tonight! 🔥
— WNBA (@WNBA) June 3, 2018
Nurse’s performance in the Liberty’s 87-81 victory Saturday vs. Indiana resulted in the highest percentage of points (39.1%) a reserve has scored for her team in a WNBA game. The 10th pick in the 2018 WNBA Draft, Nurse is off to a fast start in the WNBA, ranking 18th in the league with 16.2 points per game following Tuesday’s game vs Phoenix.
— WNBA (@WNBA) June 5, 2018
Tuesday’s matinee was Nurse’s first game as a professional at Madison Square Garden. Having played there previously with the Canadian National Team and UConn, Nurse enjoyed the atmosphere Tuesday – especially with a younger audience in attendance on Kids Day.
“It was awesome, this is the mecca of basketball,” Nurse said. “The kids were hilarious when they were singing all of the songs that are now mainstream. It was a lot of fun, it was a great atmosphere to play in, unfortunately it didn’t come out the way we wanted it to.”
Nurse’s Liberty were defeated 80-74 – a day that saw Mercury guard Diana Taurasi become the first in WNBA history to score 8,000 career points.
Having previously matched up in international play, Tuesday was Nurse’s first opportunity to go against the future hall-of-famer at the WNBA level.
“It’s an interesting match-up when we go against Diana,” said Nurse. “You’re still kind of in awe in everything she’s been able to do. Growing up, that’s something you got to watch and now playing against her – it’s a bit weird.”
Nurse is already gaining a reputation as one of the top rookies in the WNBA but she knows despite this hot start, each and every day is a new opportunity to improve.
“Continuing getting in the gym, putting up extra shots, working with T-Spoon (Teresa Weatherspoon) – she’s been a great asset to have around as well – and continue to try to get better,” said Nurse of her keys to improvement. ‘There’s always going to be something I can get better at in my game, so work on something new every day.”