In a span of three seconds on Sunday at the Los Angeles Convention Center, New York Liberty guard Rebecca Allen made two game-saving blocks as well as two free throws that put her team up by three.
First, she blocked a Kristi Toliver 3-point attempt with 8.2 seconds to go and was then immediately fouled by Toliver as Toliver went after the loose ball. With 5.2 ticks remaining, Allen blocked an Erica Wheeler 3-point attempt that would have tied it and Nia Coffey was not able to connect on her 3-point attempt 3.2 seconds later, allowing New York to hold on for a 76-73 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks.
With the win, the Liberty (7-6) broke away from the .500 and idle Chicago Sky and Washington Mystics to capture sole possession of fourth place in the WNBA. The Sparks fell to 5-7.
The game was tied entering the fourth and there were five lead changes and three more ties throughout the final frame. Betnijah Laney gave the Liberty the lead for good with a foot-on-the-line two at 2:06 remaining and then hit two free throws with 1:44 to play that put them up 74-71.
New York led by eight at halftime before LA won the third 22-14.
Allen (5-of-11 from distance) finished with 19 points, six rebounds, three assists, three steals and three blocks. Fellow Liberty guard Sami Whitcomb, who has provided a similar scrappy spark for the team this year, was second on New York with 17 points and hauled in a game- and career-high nine rebounds. Laney notched 14 points and dished out five helpers while Kylee Shook (seven rebounds) and Sabrina Ionescu (six rebounds) recorded 11 and nine points, respectively.
Erica Wheeler (six rebounds, three steals) matched her career high with 10 assists in defeat. She also had 20 points for her second double-double in three games and also the second of her career. Coffey and Toliver added 15 points apiece while Brittney Sykes scored 10 to go along with seven steals.