Breanna Stewart makes WNBA historical past in carrying Liberty to win vs. Dream TERMAN WEBSITE

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There have been loads of moments Sunday that confirmed the Liberty are nonetheless attempting to shake off no matter was ailing them in Tuesday’s failure to repeat as Commissioner’s Cup champions.

However after a sluggish begin, a stagnant efficiency from Jonquel Jones and an terrible capturing afternoon from Sabrina Ionescu, Breanna Stewart carried the Liberty to an 81-75 win over the Atlanta Dream at Barclays Middle.

Stewart scored 22 factors and have become the quickest participant in WNBA historical past to succeed in 5,000 factors, doing so in 242 video games; Diana Taurasi had the earlier mark at 243 video games.

Breanna Stewart (30) turned the quickest participant in WNBA historical past to succeed in 5,000 factors in Sunday’s Liberty win over the Dream. Michelle Farsi for the NY Publish

“It’s a cool honor, for certain. Clearly, if you get to go somebody like D [Taurasi], who is admittedly paving the best way for scoring and all of that. It’s an unbelievable honor and likewise one thing that I’ll undoubtedly textual content her about,” Stewart mentioned with amusing. “However, all in all, I wouldn’t be right here and be capable of do all this stuff with out my teammates and actually appreciating them for setting me as much as get up to now.

“However, we’re attempting to do extra than simply get accolades.”

Jones had simply 5 factors — solely two higher than her three free throws on Tuesday in opposition to the Lynx within the Commissioner’s Cup remaining.

Sabrina Ionescu (20) shot simply 3-for-17 on Sunday. Michelle Farsi for the NY Publish
Betnijah Laney-Hamilton (44) appears to be like to go in opposition to the Dream. Michelle Farsi for the NY Publish

Ionescu had 10, capturing 3-for-17 from the sphere, together with 2-for-11 from deep.

Liberty coach Sandy Brondello mentioned many gamers have been beneath the climate.

Ionescu, who had a strained voice, mentioned she didn’t “say one phrase” on the courtroom.

Stewart propelled the Liberty (league-best 16-3) within the second half after they shot a brutal 27.8 p.c within the first quarter and 30 p.c within the second quarter.

They have been down 16 at one level within the first half and nonetheless down 14 with 1:40 left within the half earlier than Stewart and Vandersloot sparked a run to get the Liberty inside 41-36 on the half.

Stewart, the two-time MVP, carried the load within the third quarter, making three 3-pointers because the Dream left her open on the high of the important thing too typically.

She adopted her pictures for second-chance factors and grabbed 12 rebounds to assist restrict the Dream within the paint.

Atlanta (7-10) shot 13-for-18 within the paint within the first half however went solely 5-for-14 inside within the second half.

Jonquel Jones managed simply 5 factors for the Liberty on
Sunday in opposition to the Dream. Michelle Farsi for the NY Publish
Breanna Stewart scored 22 factors for the Liberty on Sunday. Michelle Farsi for the NY Publish

“Within the begin, we weren’t as disruptive as we needed to be and we have been capable of flip that round. … Simply realizing the place they’re attempting to place the ball,” Stewart mentioned on the improved work inside. “They’re attempting to drive downhill. They’re attempting to punch it within the paint … simply being aware of that.”

Betnijah Laney-Hamilton had the game-shifting deep shot within the third quarter off a go from Ionescu, who discovered her within the nook to take a 44-43 lead — the Liberty’s first since 4 minutes into the sport.

Leonie Fiebich additionally was a late prompt the bench, scoring 9 of her 12 factors within the remaining quarter.

Breanna Stewart blocks a shot for the Liberty on Sunday in opposition to
the Dream. Michelle Farsi for the NY Publish

However the Liberty seemed misplaced initially.

At one level, Vandersloot lofted the ball to Stewart beneath the basket in transition, however got here up with nothing.

Ionescu was sluggish to make choices, opting to not shoot at instances when given area and as a substitute made errant passes.

Former Liberty standout Tina Charles — together with Allisha Grey — was beating Charles’ former crew in transition and within the paint, with Charles consistently getting the perfect of Jones.

Charles, who performed with the Liberty from 2014-19, had 16 factors; Grey tallied 24.

“We began sluggish. Slightly bit rusty, I suppose,” Brondello mentioned. “So, we needed to dig deep. We needed to get again taking part in as onerous as we will and play the correct approach. We didn’t make many pictures in that first half. We acquired some open ones, however we simply needed to maintain transferring the ball they usually began to drop after we wanted them.”

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