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Stewart's late three-point play lifts Liberty to OT win over Mystics

Breanna Stewart Breanna Stewart - Getty Images

NEW YORK (AP) — Breanna Stewart's three-point play with 19.7 seconds left in overtime lifted the New York Liberty to an 89-88 win over the Washington Mystics on Sunday.

Sabrina Ionescu scored 31 points, hitting seven 3-pointers, and Stewart added 18 points for New York, which trailed by 17 in the first quarter and by eight with 2:28 left in regulation before tying the game with 2 seconds left on a layup by Courtney Vandersloot.

The teams exchanged the lead five times in overtime before Natasha Cloud had a three-point play with 1:59 left that made it 88-86. Neither team scored until Stewart drove the lane with 19.7 seconds left making the basket and drawing the foul.

She sank the free throw to give New York (9-3) the lead.

After a timeout, Washington (8-5) got the ball to Elena Delle Donne, whose runner bounced off the rim with just over 5 seconds left. The ball went out of bounds off the Liberty, giving the Mystics one last chance. Myisha Hines-Allen's contested shot with a second left missed and New York came away with the victory.

“A win like this can help us tremendously,” Stewart said. “Last one before we go on the road for awhile.”

Ariel Atkins led Washington with 24 points, breaking out of a shooting slump with six 3-pointers, and Cloud added 23 and 11 assists.

The loss ended a three-game winning streak for the Mystics, who lost forward Shakira Austin to a hip injury early in the fourth quarter.

Austin got hurt shortly before the Liberty took their only lead. She tipped a pass near midcourt and went down in front of the Liberty bench. She was down on the court for a few minutes before she was carried to the locker room.

“It's a left hip strain and we'll evaluate her when we get back,” Washington coach Eric Thibault said.

Washington jumped on New York at the start, scoring the first 13 points of the game. The Liberty missed its first seven shots before Betnijah Laney hit a reverse layup with 6:01 left in the quarter.

Washington extended its lead to 17 in the period before New York rallied to within 27-17 at the end of the quarter.

The Liberty got their offense going in the second quarter behind Ionescu and Laney and cut their deficit to 45-39 at the half. Stewart missed all seven of her field-goal attempts in the first half. It's only the third time in her career that she was held without a field goal in the first half.

Right before the game Stewart was selected as an All-Star Game captain. It's the second consecutive year that she's held that position.