Breanna Stewart was nearly unstoppable, scoring 30 of her game-high 42 points in the opening half to help pave the way for the New York Liberty in a 100-89 victory over the Indiana Fever on Sunday at Indianapolis.
Stewart produced her third game of at least 40 points this season, hitting five 3-pointers, shooting 15 of 23 from the field and blocking three shots as the Liberty (24-6) set a franchise record for wins in a season and extended their winning streak to six.
Jonquel Jones had 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Liberty, Betnijah Laney scored 12 points and Sabrina Ionescu added 10, hitting two 3-pointers to go over 100 makes from distance for the year. New York swept the regular-season series against Indiana.
Four players scored in double figures for the Fever (8-23), including Kelsey Mitchell, who had 22 points. Erica Wheeler poured in 21 points while Aliyah Boston had 17 and Nalyssa Smith added 15.
Indiana, which trailed by as many as 18 in the second half, closed the gap to 95-89 with 59.4 seconds to play in the fourth quarter off a putback, but a 3-pointer by a tightly guarded Laney with 37.4 seconds remaining iced the game.
The fourth meeting of the year between the teams opened with a first quarter that featured 12 lead changes and three ties.
Mitchell scored 12 points in the opening quarter, including three off a layup and free throw that put Indiana up 23-19 with 3:07 left.
Stewart scored 14 points in the first to keep the Liberty within striking distance, hitting a fadeaway jumper with four seconds left that trimmed the Indiana lead to 31-29.
Indiana maintained its lead into the second before back-to-back 3-pointers by Stewart pushed the Liberty in front, 42-40, at the 4:54 mark of the quarter.
Those points were among the 13 straight by Stewart, who extended the Liberty lead to 49-42 with 3:32 left.
Mitchell then sparked a 7-0 run for the Fever and drilled a 3-pointer that tied the game at 49-49 with 2:09 left in the first half. New York responded and led 58-51 at the break.
—Field Level Media