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Liberty blow lead, top Fever in overtime to advance to Commissioner's Cup final

Sabrina Ionescu New York Liberty Sabrina Ionescu - The Canadian Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- — Sabrina Ionescu scored eight of her 34 points in overtime and the New York Liberty clinched a berth in the Commissioner's Cup championship with a 95-87 win over the Indiana Fever on Wednesday, despite blowing an 18-point fourth-quarter lead.

Aliyah Boston hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of regulation for Indiana, which had a chance to win its last two home games on last-second 3-point attempts. It was the rookie's second 3 of the season.

That tied the game at 80 but the veteran Liberty pulled away in overtime as Ionescu hit two of her seven 3-pointers and the young Fever missed its last four shots.

Brenna Stewart had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Liberty (14-4), who play at Western Conference winner and defending champion Las Vegas for the Commissioner's Cup on Aug. 15. Courtney Vandersloot had 12 assists, the last going to Betnijah Laney for a 3-pointer that broke an 85-85 tie with 1:52 left in overtime.

Vandersloot's layup with 7:27 left in regulation had the Liberty up 74-56 but their next field goal was Ionescu's 3 to open overtime. The Fever reeled off 16-straight points and Erica Wheeler had a three-point play with 12.9 seconds to go and Boston's 3 completed the comeback.

Boston had 23 points for the Fever (5-15), who have lost eight-straight. Emma Cannon had a career-high 19 on 7-of-9 shooting, Kelsey Mitchell added 16 and Grace Berger also had a career high with 15.

The Fever had a different starting lineup for the first time this season with leading rebounder NaLyssa Smith and Lexie Hull injured. Smith will miss two weeks with a stress fracture in her left foot and Lexie Hull has a broken nose. Both played Sunday.


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