NY Liberty beats Seattle Storm 86-78 as Stewart shines in return

May 30, 2023, 9:50 PM | Updated: May 31, 2023, 3:53 pm

Seattle Storm NY Liberty Breanna Stewart...

Liberty forward Breanna Stewart shoots against the Seattle Storm on May 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

(AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

SEATTLE (AP) — Breanna Stewart had 25 points and 11 rebounds in her return to the Pacific Northwest and the New York Liberty beat the Seattle Storm 86-78 on Tuesday night.

New York Liberty 86, Seattle Storm 78: Box score

It was Stewart’s first game in Seattle since going to the Liberty as a free agent during the offseason. The former MVP helped Seattle win two titles with Sue Bird, who sat courtside for the return.

Stewart took over in the third quarter with 10 points and six rebounds to help New York extend a narrow halftime lead to 68-56 entering the fourth. She finished 8 of 14 from the field and 8 of 9 at the stripe.

Seattle got within single digits early in the fourth before Sabrina Ionescu sank a deep 3-pointer to make it 72-61. Stewart’s fast-break layup, off a nice pass from Courtney Vandersloot, gave New York an 86-74 lead.

Ionescu finished with 20 points for New York (3-1), which has won three straight games. Stefanie Dolson scored 10 points and Vandersloot had a season-high 11 assists. Jonquel Jones scored nine points in 18 minutes.

Jewell Loyd led Seattle (0-3) with 26 points and Ezi Magbegor had 12 points and 14 rebounds.

Kia Nurse made Seattle’s first 3-pointer of the game with 4:15 left in the third quarter to get within 57-53, but New York made 3-pointers on its next two possessions and Stewart followed with a three-point play for a 13-point lead.

Breanna Stewart says return to Seattle with Liberty ‘feels good, but also very weird’

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NY Liberty beats Seattle Storm 86-78 as Stewart shines in return