Stewart, Storm hand Liberty 6th straight loss, 79-71 in OT

  • Seattle Storm’s Breanna Stewart shoots against New York Liberty’s AD Durr, left, and Han Xu during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Friday, May 27, 2022, in Seattle. (Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times via AP)

SEATTLE — Breanna Stewart scored 13 of her 29 points after the third quarter, Jewell Loyd finished with 21 points and the Seattle Storm gave up a 16-poinit second-half lead before beating the New York Liberty 79-71 in overtime on Friday night.

Sue Bird, Ezi Magbegor and Stephanie Talbot missed the game due to health and safety protocols. Magbegor moved into the starting lineup this season in the place of Mercedes Russell, who hasn’t played since suffering a non-basketball related injury in April.

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Stewart made 6 of 8 from the free-throw line in the final 2 minutes of the fourth quarter and then hit a 3-pointer to give Seattle (4-3) the lead for good at 70-67 just 35 seconds into overtime.

Briann January added 11 points for the Storm, including a 3-pointer that made it 74-69 with less than 2 minutes remaining.

Natasha Howard led New York (1-6) with 17 points and nine rebounds. Han Xu added 12 points, while Rebecca Allen and Stefanie Dolson each scored 11.

Gabby Williams was fouled on a driving layup attempt with 2.3 seconds left in regulation and the game tied at 67-all but missed both free throws.

Seattle scored the first 10 points in a 17-4 run that pushed the Storm’s lead to 14 points before going into halftime leading 34-24. Chantel Lavender made back-to-back baskets before Loyd hit a step-back 3-pointer midway through the third quarter that gave Seattle its biggest lead of the game at 43-27.

New York has lost six games in a row.

FEVER 101, SPARKS 96

INDIANAPOLIS — Kelsey Mitchell scored 22 points, Danielle Robinson had 10 points and 11 assists and the Fever held off the Sparks for interim coach Carlos Knox’s first victory.

Indiana (3-7) fired coach Marianne Stanley on Wednesday after her teams won just 14 games in a little more than two seasons. This win snapped a five-game losing skid.

Indiana led by as many as 18 points in the second half, but Los Angeles battled back and Brittney Sykes’ jumper at the free-throw line pulled the Sparks within 95-93. It was the closest Los Angeles had been since the first quarter. Robinson made two free throws with a minute left to give Indiana a two-possession lead and she added two more at 20.1.

Nneka Ogwumike scored 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Los Angeles (3-6).

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