SEATTLE (AP): Breanna Stewart scored 13 of her 29 points after the third quarter, Jewell Loyd finished with 21 points and the Seattle Storm gave up a 16-point second-half lead before beating the New York Liberty 79-71 in overtime on Friday night.
Sue Bird, Ezi Magbegor and Stephanie Talbot missed the game due to health and safety protocols. Magbegor moved into the starting lineup this season in the place of Mercedes Russell, who hasn’t played since suffering a non-basketball related injury in April.
Stewart made 6 of 8 from the free-throw line in the final 2 minutes of the fourth quarter and then hit a 3-pointer to give Seattle (4-3) the lead for good at 70-67 just 35 seconds into overtime.
Briann January added 11 points for the Storm, including a 3-pointer that made it 74-69 with less than 2 minutes remaining.
Natasha Howard led New York (1-6) with 17 points and nine rebounds. Han Xu added 12 points, while Rebecca Allen and Stefanie Dolson each scored 11.
Seattle’s Gabby Williams was fouled on a driving layup attempt with 2.3 seconds left in regulation and the game tied at 67-all, but she missed both free throws.
Seattle scored the first 10 points in a 17-4 run that pushed the Storm’s lead to 14 points before going into halftime ahead 34-24. Chantel Lavender made back-to-back baskets before Loyd hit a step-back 3-pointer midway through the third quarter that gave Seattle its biggest lead of the game at 43-27.
New York has lost six games in a row.