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May 20, 2024 9:24 pm

Sabrina Ionescu, Liberty get by Storm to move to 4-0

ionescu

Sabrina Ionescu scored a game-high 20 points and dished out eight assists Monday night as the unbeaten New York Liberty never trailed in a 74-63 win over the visiting Seattle Storm.

Breanna Stewart netted 16 points, 11 rebounds and three steals for New York (4-0), while Jonquel Jones added 16 points and eight rebounds. Betnijah Laney-Hamilton chipped in 13 points.

Jewell Loyd scored 13 points to lead Seattle (1-3) but made only 5 of 17 shots from the field. Ezi Magbegor added 12 points for the Storm, who played without star Nneka Ogwumike (ankle) for the second straight game.

For most of the game, Seattle looked like a team playing for the second time in as many days. The Storm struggled to make shots, hitting only 24 of 70 attempts from the field (34.3 percent) and 6 of 22 3-pointers, and committed 23 fouls.

The Liberty didn’t shoot well, hitting just 41.3 percent from the field and 3 of 23 on 3-pointers, but made 19 of 20 at the foul line and earned a 36-34 advantage on the boards. They also outscored Seattle 42-24 in the paint.

New York established its working margin for the night pretty quickly. A 9-2 burst that Stewart capped with a layup off a feed by Laney-Hamilton made it 13-6 at the 5:08 mark. Ionescu made the margin 10 with a pullup in the last minute of the first quarter and the Liberty led 27-15 after 10 minutes.

The second quarter was rough for both teams. New York went nearly four minutes without scoring but the Storm couldn’t make inroads into the deficit. Even though they got a buzzer-beater from Mercedes Russell to end the half, the Storm still trailed 36-24.

Seattle got within 10 on a couple of occasions in the third quarter before the Liberty rattled off seven straight points. Ionescu drained a 3-pointer to end the run and make it 57-40.

New York led 60-45 after three and pushed the margin as high as 18 in the fourth quarter.

–Field Level Media

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