WNBA: Breanna Stewart shines as Liberty cruise past Sparks for second time in three days

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Breanna Stewart tied a season-high with 33 points as the host New York Liberty defeated the Los Angeles Sparks Saturday 98-88 at the Barclays Center.

Sabrina Ionescu had 24 points and Kayla Thornton had 20, including a career-high six threes for New York (14-3) which never trailed in the second half and led by as many as 23 points.

In the first half, Stewart became the first player in WNBA history with at least 20 points, five blocks and five assists in a single half when she notched 24, five and five. She had 19 of her points in the second quarter, the most for any Liberty player in one quarter this season. She also tied her career high with six blocks for the game.

It was New York’s second win over Los Angeles in the last three days. The Liberty beat the Sparks 93-80 on Thursday and have won seven straight meetings between the teams.

Los Angeles (4-13) has now lost six in a row and is 2-9 in its last 11 games.

New York started the game on a 17-8 run capped by a three by Ionescu, giving her 42 straight regular season games with a made three, the longest active streak in the WNBA.

The Sparks charged back and led 28-21 early in the second after a three by Stephanie Talbot.

After a five-point first quarter, Stewart checked in with 8:26 left in the half and scored nine straight points for the Liberty, including back-to-back threes to give her team a 34-33 lead. New York led 54-44 at halftime and added on in the third quarter.

Dearica Hamby led Los Angeles with 20 points, while Zia Cooke had a season-high 14 off the bench. The Sparks pulled within 93-83 with 3:06 remaining but missed threes on their next two possessions.

The Liberty, which entered Saturday leading the WNBA with 10.2 made threes per game, canned 16 triples to LA’s eight.

Queen Egbo, who was waived by the Connecticut Sun on June 5, made her debut for the Sparks after signing a contract with the team earlier in the day. She wore No. 44 with white duct tape on her jersey blocking out the nameplate. She had two points.

–Field Level Media

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