WNBA: Breanna Stewart leads Storm; Sabrina Ionescu comes up clutch for Liberty

Breanna Stewart had a season-high 33 points with eight rebounds and five assists and the Seattle Storm beat the Minnesota Lynx 89-77. The Storm took an early 23-9 advantage as Stewart made the Storm’s sixth of the first quarter, in eight attempts.

Seattle finished 11 of 25 from distance, with four from Stewart and three from Sue Bird. Stewart was 13 of 20 from the field, finishing five points shy of her career high. Jewell Loyd added 17 points, while Bird scored 13 point for the Storm (20-12).

The Storm, which won its sixth straight home game in front of a sold-out crowd of 13,500, hosts Las Vegas on Sunday in Bird’s final regular-season home game. Nikolina Milic scored 13 points and Sylvia Fowles added 12 for Minnesota (12-20).

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Sabrina Ionescu scored eight of her 20 points in the final 2:18 and the Liberty rallied from a 15-point deficit in the third quarter to beat the Los Angeles Sparks 64-61. The Liberty (13-18) earned two wins over the Sparks (12-19) in the span of 24 hours.

Trailing 50-35 with 5:23 left in the third quarter, New York held Los Angeles scoreless for the rest of the period to cut its deficit to five.Los Angeles finally ended its nearly 7-minute scoreless drought and got the lead back up to 55-47.

New York scored 13 of the next 17 points to take its first lead of the game with 1:14 remaining in the regulation. Ionescu was fouled shooting a 3-pointer with 34.1 seconds left. She made two of three to give the Liberty a 62-59 advantage.

Los Angeles had one last chance but Lexie Brown missed a 3-pointer from the wing just before the buzzer. Nneka Ogwumike scored 19 points to lead Los Angeles.

Rhyne Howard scored 20 points and the Atlanta Dream extended Indiana Fever’s losing streak to 15 after Wednesday’s night 91-81 victory. Atlanta (13-18) ended a four-game losing streak and moved into a three-team tie for seventh in the standings.

Atlanta led 64-34 early in the third quarter before Indiana battled back to get within single digits in the fourth. But the Dream scored seven straight points and led by at least nine points the rest of the way.

Cheyenne Parker had 17 for Atlanta, while Aari McDonald added 13 points, Kristy Wallace scored 12 and Maya Caldwell had 10. Howard reached to 20+ points for the ninth time in her rookie season. NaLyssa Smith scored 21 points for Indiana (5-28).


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