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Defending champion Sky move on after defeating Liberty 90-72

Sportsnaut
May 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; A general view of the game ball during the preseason WNBA game between the New York Liberty and the China National Team at Barclays Center.  Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Six players scored in double figures Tuesday night and the defending champion Chicago Sky rattled off 16 straight points to blow open a tight game and eliminate the New York Liberty 90-72 in a win-or-else Game 3 of the teams’ first-round WNBA playoff series in Brooklyn.

Kahleah Copper and Allie Quigley each scored 15 points for second-seeded Chicago, which advances to the semifinals against either No. 3 Connecticut or No. 6 Dallas. The Sun and Wings decide their series on Wednesday night in Arlington, Texas.

Candace Parker and Courtney Vandersloot added 14 each for the Sky, which lost the first game of this series 98-91 before winning the final two games by a total of 56 points. Emma Meesseman and reserve Azura Stevens each tallied 12 points.

Betnijah Laney scored 15 points to pace No. 7 New York, while Sabrina Ionescu and Natasha Howard each added 14. Ionescu and Laney combined for seven straight points in the first 58 seconds of the fourth quarter, pulling the Liberty within 68-65.

However, New York didn’t score again until Sami Whitcomb drilled a 3-pointer with 2:51 left. By that time, Chicago displayed its championship class, getting points from five different players while the Liberty missed eight straight shots.

The teams came out matching each other bucket for bucket in the first five minutes before Chicago used New York turnovers to start establishing a working margin. Parker’s layup made it 21-15 with 2:03 left in the quarter and the Sky took a 25-20 advantage to the second period.

Chicago scored seemingly at will in the second quarter, using balance and ball movement to build a double-figure lead. Parker found Stevens for a layup with 1.3 seconds remaining, sending the Sky to the locker room with a 54-42 cushion.

The third quarter was somewhat ragged and was marked mostly by the Liberty missing some good chances to cut into their deficit. They went more than three minutes without a point, but closed within 68-58 on Howard’s putback just before the period ended.

–Field Level Media