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Breanna Stewart, streaking Liberty take on Sky

Aug 15, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; New York Liberty forward Breanna Stewart (30) has the ball stripped by Las Vegas Aces guard Jackie Young (0) during the second quarter at Michelob Ultra Arena. Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Liberty will look to keep their foot on the gas in their drive toward the playoffs on Sunday afternoon when they visit the Chicago Sky.

The Liberty (29-7) posted their fifth straight win with a decisive 89-58 decision over the Connecticut Sun on Friday night. Breanna Stewart paved the way with a double-double as New York benefited from five players scoring in double figures in its comprehensive victory.

“From really how we started this season to where we are now and just the growth, the experience, the way that we kind of lock in and realize that every moment matters,” Stewart said of her club’s championship aspirations, per the New York Post.

“It’s something that you see on championship teams, and (we) know that everybody’s going to give us their best shot. … We want to be our best come playoff time and just continue to peak at the right time.”

With that in mind, the Liberty held out star Sabrina Ionescu (calf ailment) for what coach Sandy Brondello labeled as precautionary reasons.

Stewart has averaged 20.0 points, 11.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists in the three encounters with the Sky this season. The 2018 WNBA MVP sank a go-ahead shot with 7.1 seconds remaining to help the Liberty win the lone clash in Chicago, a 77-76 decision on June 2.

Kahleah Copper scored 20 points in that clash for the Sky and did herself two points better on Tuesday in her team’s 76-75 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks. Chicago and Los Angeles have identical 15-21 records; however, the Sky are positioned in the eighth and final playoff spot by virtue of their edge in the head-to-head series.

“This is when you want to be playing your best basketball — late in the regular season, going into the playoffs — because you have that confidence and you feel good,” Copper said, per the Chicago Sun-Times. “For us to be trying to peak right now is actually really good.”

–Field Level Media

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