Liberty overcome 20-point deficit, beat Sparks

Sabrina Ionescu scored 11 of her 20 points in the fourth quarter and the host New York Liberty matched their largest comeback of the season by overcoming a 20-point deficit in a 64-61 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks Wednesday night.

The Liberty (13-18) moved a game ahead of Los Angeles (12-19) in the standings and are now tied with the Atlanta Dream.

Ionescu shot 6 of 18 from the field but made three critical hoops down the stretch and scored New York’s final eight points.

Ionescu started her game-ending run with a reverse layup that got New York within 59-58. After intercepting a pass by Olivia Nelson-Ododa, Ionescu hit two free throws with 1:17 left for New York’s first lead at 60-59.

Ionescu then hit two of three free throws with 34.6 seconds remaining for a 62-59 edge after being fouled with two seconds left on the shot clock.

Following two free throws by Jordin Canada with 29.6 seconds left, Ionescu hit an 11-footer with 6.9 seconds remaining and the game ended when Lexie Brown missed a contested 3-pointer with 3.4 seconds left.

Ionescu also added eight rebounds to go along with six assists.

Natasha Howard added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Liberty, who shot 31.5 percent from the field but managed to win their third straight game.

Nneka Ogwumike led the Sparks with 19 points and seven rebounds. Brittney Sykes added 12 points for Los Angeles, which held a 20-point lead early in the second quarter and lost for the eighth time in 10 games.

Los Angeles shot 52 percent and scored 12 points off turnovers in a dominant first quarter that ended with the Sparks holding a 24-8 lead. The Sparks ripped off a 13-0 run bridging the first and second quarters to get a 28-8 lead on a basket by Sykes with 7:49 remaining.

New York missed its first eight 3-point tries before Ionescu converted from beyond the arc with 7:33 remaining in the second.

–Field Level Media

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