Sky no match for Liberty's hot start, lose 89-73

NEW YORK - Breanna Stewart had 21 points and 12 rebounds to help the New York Liberty beat the Chicago Sky 89-73 on Friday night for their fifth straight victory.

New York (23-6) equaled the franchise record for victories in a season, matching the 2015 team. While New York clinched a playoff spot Thursday night by virtue of a few other teams losing, Chicago (12-17) is currently sitting in eighth place in the standings.

The game was tied at 14 before New York scored 12 straight points, including back-to-back 3-pointers by Betnijah Laney. The Liberty led 28-16 after the end of the first. New York held a 57-53 advantage late in the third quarter before scoring seven of the final nine points of the period.

The Liberty kept the momentum going to start the fourth, extending the advantage to 71-57 on Sabrina Ionescu's layup with 8:23 left in the game. Chicago couldn't get any closer the rest of the game.

Alanna Smith led the Sky with 19 points and Courtney Williams added 10 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.

New York is finally getting close to being at full strength. The Liberty welcomed back Stefanie Dolson, who had been sidelined with an ankle injury since June 23. She missed the team's previous 16 games before Friday night. Getting Dolson back gives New York a bit more depth in the post. She had two points in 11 minutes.

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