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Jun 2, 2024 9:07 pm

Liberty eclipse 100 points, stifle weary Fever

caitlin clark

Betnijah Laney-Hamilton scored 20 points in 25 minutes as the host New York Liberty recorded a wire-to-wire 104-68 victory over the Indiana Fever on Sunday night in their opening Commissioner’s Cup game.

The Liberty (7-2) won their third straight and beat the Fever for the third time this season. New York has won the three meetings by a combined 83 points. The Liberty held rookie Caitlin Clark to a season-low three points on 1-of-10 shooting.

Jonquel Jones added 18 points and 13 rebounds for her second straight double-double. Sabrina Ionescu contributed 16, six assists and six rebounds as New York shot a season-best 57.6 percent and scored 44 points in the paint.

Breanna Stewart finished with 13 points and reserve Kennedy Burke chipped in 10 as the Liberty scored 100 points for the second time this season — both against the Fever. New York has scored at least 100 points in four of the past five meetings against Indiana.

Kelsey Mitchell scored 21 points on 9-of-19 shooting but Indiana (2-9) was unable to win consecutive games for the first time this season after eking out a 71-70 home victory over the Chicago Sky on Saturday afternoon.

NaLyssa Smith added 17 as Indiana shot 37 percent and missed 21 of 28 3-point tries, including a 1-for-7 night from deep by Clark.

Stewart and Ionescu sank 3-pointers about a minute apart to open a 26-6 lead with 2:38 remaining and helped give the Liberty a 31-13 edge through the opening quarter.

After the Fever cut the deficit to 15, three straight layups pushed New York’s lead to 42-21 with 6:55 left and the Liberty went on to hold a 55-37 halftime edge.

Consecutive baskets by Mitchell moved Indiana to within 57-45 with 6:45 remaining in the third quarter and forced New York to call a timeout. New York countered by outscoring Indiana 24-7 the rest of the quarter and carried an 81-52 lead into the fourth.

–Field Level Media

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