Loyd injures ankle, Storm fall 80-76 to Stewart and Liberty

Jul 8, 2023, 2:44 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Breanna Stewart scored 25 points and Sabrina Ionescu added 20 to help the New York Liberty beat the Seattle Storm 80-76 on Saturday.

New York Liberty 80, Seattle Storm 76: Box Score

Stewart’s effort came one game after she had 43 in a win over Phoenix on Wednesday. The Liberty (13-4) have now won three games in a row.

The Storm lost the WNBA’s leading scorer Jewell Loyd early in the fourth quarter to a sprained left ankle. With just over 7 minutes left, Loyd rolled her ankle while the Storm were on offense. After being down for a minute, she gingerly walked off the court and back to the locker room. She had 14 points, but was 3-for-17 from the field, including making just one of 10 3-point attempts. She returned to the bench a few minutes later, but didn’t re-enter the game.

New York led 70-68 before scoring eight straight, the last coming on Ionescu’s third 3-pointer of the period that made it 78-68 with 3:02 left.

Sami Whitcomb, who was making her return to New York after signing as a free agent in the offseason, scored the next eight points for Seattle to get the Storm within 78-76. She finished with 19 points.

The Storm had two chances to tie the game in the final minute. Ivana Dojkic missed a jumper and then after Betnijah Laney had a turnover, Whitcomb missed a baseline jumper. The ball went out of bounds and was initially ruled Seattle’s ball. The Liberty challenged the call and it was overturned.

Ionescu was fouled with 17.3 seconds left and made both free throws to make it 80-76 for the final margin as Seattle didn’t score after that.

“We had to buckle down and got stops when we needed to,” Ionescu said.

New York won despite getting outrebounded 48-30.

The loss was Seattle’s fifth straight, but the Storm (4-14) put forth a much better effort then its previous game when the team was blown out in Connecticut on Thursday.

The Storm led 36-35 at the half before Stewart scored eight of her points in the third quarter to give New York a 60-54 advantage heading to the final period.

The game got off to a rough start when something was wrong with the Barclays Center sound system. There was no national anthem and the teams didn’t have their normal pregame introductions as the sound system wasn’t working correctly.

Both teams made the best of it with New York’s Stefanie Dolson doing her customary handshakes with her teammates and egging on the crowd to make noise. The problem was fixed midway through the first quarter.

Earlier in the afternoon the WNBA announced the results of the All-Star Game draft. Stewart is the captain of one of the squads and drafted her Liberty teammates Courtney Vandersloot and Ionescu. She also took her former Seattle teammates Loyd and Ezi Magbegor. The game will be played next Saturday in Las Vegas.

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