Sports

Liberty beat Sun as Breanna Stewart scores 24 points in win

Breanna Stewart scored 24 points and Jonquel Jones added 14 points and 11 rebounds in her return to Connecticut as the New York Liberty beat the Sun 89-81 on Tuesday night.

The victory moved the Liberty into a tie with Connecticut atop the Commissioner Cup standings in the Eastern Conference. Each team has one game left although New York has the tiebreaker having swept the two games against the Sun.

Las Vegas has nearly wrapped up the Western Conference slot, sitting at 6-0.

Breanna Stewart dribbles ball

New York Liberty forward Breanna Stewart (30) drives to the basket during a WNBA game between New York Liberty and Connecticut Sun on June 27, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.  (M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Alyssa Thomas led Connecticut (12-4) with 11 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds for her fifth career triple-double. She’s now done it in consecutive games and three times in the last seven days. Thomas is the all-time record holder in the category. DiJonai Carrington scored a career-high 23 points to lead Connecticut.

New York (10-3) was up 80-68 with 6:26 left before Connecticut (12-4) scored 13 straight, the last of which came on a contested layup by Thomas with 3:39 left that was her 11th point and gave her the triple-double. It also gave the Sun their first lead since the first half.

LYNX DEFEAT STORM BEHIND NAPHEESA COLLIER’S CAREER-HIGH 33 POINTS

Sabrina Ionescu directs offense

New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu (20) directs the offense during a WNBA game between New York Liberty and Connecticut Sun on June 27, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.  (M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

That was the final point the team would score as New York closed with nine straight points. Courtney Vandersloot hit two free throws and then Betnijah Laney added a 3-pointer that made it 85-81.

Kayla Thornton followed with a runner in the lane with 40.4 seconds remaining. The Sun missed eight consecutive shots over the final 3 1/2 minutes.

Carrington gave the Sun a chance to even be in the game, scoring 17 of her points in the second half.

Breanna Stewart dribbles

New York Liberty forward Breanna Stewart (30) fast-breaks during a WNBA game between New York Liberty and Connecticut Sun on June 27, 2023, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.  (M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The game served as a homecoming for Jones, who played six seasons in Connecticut before getting traded to New York in the offseason. Jones won the WNBA MVP in 2021 and helped the Sun reach the finals twice, including last year.

The Sun played a tribute video to Jones a few minutes before tipoff and she got a warm ovation from the crowd.

Jones got the first basket for New York in a fast-paced first quarter that saw Connecticut lead 29-28 at the end of it. The back-and-forth action continued in the second quarter where neither team could get much of an edge. New York scored the final eight points of the half to go up 47-43 at the break.

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