Sabrina Ionescu turned in a 30-plus-point game for the New York Liberty on Friday. It was Breanna Stewart taking on superstar responsibilities with 32 points on Pride Day at Barclays Center Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn.
Stewart was 15-of-20 from the field, adding nine rebounds, five assists and three blocks, as New York came back from down nine to take down the Dallas Wings 102-93.
In the third quarter, the Liberty (6-2) went on a 9-2 run to take a one-point lead, a 6-0 run to take a six-point lead and a 10-0 run to take a game-high 14-point lead. Stewart scored the final seven points of the 9-2 run with a right-wing three, an inside bucket and a transition lay-in. She also scored the final four points of the 6-0 run with a deep two and a mid-range make. On the 10-0 run, she assisted a deep Ionescu three that made it 76-65 before Marine Johannès closed the run with a fadeaway triple in transition.
Two Awak Kuier free throws at the 6:04 mark of the fourth brought Dallas (5-4) within eight, but the Wings would get no closer over the remainder of the contest. Stewart made a contested turnaround mid-range shot from the right baseline that made it 90-79 with 4:27 remaining. Ionescu followed that with a left-corner three 23 seconds later. New York would lead by 14 three more times, including after a Betnijah Laney right-corner three at 3:28 to go.
It was the three main stars of the 2023 season (Stewart, Ionescu and Courtney Vandersloot) stepping up for the Liberty. Ionescu finished with 22 points, six rebounds and six assists while Vandersloot had 15 points and 10 assists. However, it was nice to see that Laney (10 points, five boards, four helpers, two seals), Jonquel Jones (eight points, eight rebounds, three assists) and Johannès (12 points, three helpers) were also able to contribute. Johannès made a game-high four treys while Laney was 2-of-3 from distance.
Dallas went on a 12-0 run from 6:29 in the second to 4:13 in the second to take a 39-30 lead. A Satou Sabally offensive rebound and inside attempt led to two free throw makes that cut the Wings’ deficit to 30-29. That was followed by five straight points from Kalani Brown that made it 34-30 Dallas.
The Wings’ next points came when Vandersloot was simply running to get into position on defense and accidentally moved right into the area where S. Sabally wanted to drive. S. Sabally felt the contact, threw up a mid-range shot that went down and converted on the 3-point play to give Dallas a 37-30 lead.
A Natasha Howard floater that rattled in closed the run.
Johannès managed to place an impressive no-look assist to Stewart in between her own 3-pointers to account for three consecutive Liberty possessions and an 8-3 NY run (Veronica Burton made a three during the stretch for Dallas). That cut the Liberty’s deficit to 42-38. They would cut it to four twice more over the remainder of the first half but would get no closer and trailed 51-45 at halftime. S. Sabally added five more points from the point that it was 42-38 until halftime.
The Wings went up 27-23 on a Howard layup that opened the third quarter’s scoring, but NY answered with a 7-0 run. Jones backed down for a layup, then Stewart blocked a Maddy Siegrist shot, leading to her own 3-point make in transition. Jones followed with another layup.
The first concluded with an Arike Ogunbowale crossover-turned-step-back three that made it 25-23 Wings. That answered a Johannès three from the left corner that had made it 23-22 Liberty.
The Liberty opened the game on a 5-0 run with a 3-point play from Ionescu and a transition layup from Stewart. Ogunbowale fought back though, hitting a mid-range fade that cut it to 9-8 and three free throws that cut it to 12-11. She would eventually tie it at 14 on a deep, high-arching bank three.
Ogunbowale finished with 25 points, six rebounds and seven assists while S. Sabally had 17 points, 11 boards and two steals.
Dallas turned it over just four times and made 12 more free throws than New York, but lost field goal percentage 55.7 to 39, threes made 13-6 and 3-point percentage 46.4 to 26.1.