Breanna Stewart leads Liberty past Sky for second consecutive win in a Commissioner’s Cup game as Angel Reese is ejected

After securing an upset victory over the New York Liberty weeks ago, the Chicago Sky were once again looking to play spoiler against the WNBA’s defending Commissioner’s Cup champions.

But a bounce-back game from the league’s reigning MVP and a 10-0 run to start the fourth pushed the Liberty to an 88-75 win over the Sky at Wintrust Arena Tuesday night. The win makes the Liberty 2-0 in the Commissioner’s Cup standings.

Breanna Stewart led the way with a season-high 33 points to go along with 14 boards and a steal. She shot 14-of-25 from the field to secure her second 30-point game of the season. Sabrina Ionescu recorded 21 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Stewart’s efforts were enough to erase another Jonquel Jones performance hindered by foul trouble. The big logged just 25 minutes and missed 5-of-7 shot attempts in the win.

Jones recorded her third foul less than two minutes into the second quarter. And with the star on the bench, Chicago went on an 11-0 run that cut a 15-point deficit to four.

Chennedy Carter’s layup with 1:33 minutes remaining in the first half tied the game. Carter carved up the Liberty in the first half, like Marina Mabrey did in the 90-81 win over the Liberty on May 23. Mabrey recorded 12 points in the first half in last month’s win. Carter used her blinding speed to pour in 15 by halftime Tuesday. The Liberty eventually lost the second, 33-18, and went into halftime up one.

Carter and Mabrey finished with 16 and 15 points, respectively.

Mabrey opened the third with a pull-up jumper that gave the Sky its first lead of the game. Sandy Brondello sat Jones again at the 2:56 minute mark after she picked up her fourth foul. Her long absences, along with Nyara Sabally out (back), led to the Sky feasting on the boards. It eventually led to the Sky edging the Liberty, 18-16, in a chippy third quarter. During the period, Betnijah Laney-Hamilton and Mabrey got tangled up and exchanged words, which led officials to assess both with technical fouls after review.

Officials left their mark on the game again by ejecting Sky star Angel Reese in the fourth. Reese appeared to share words with an official before being assessed two quick technicals.

In the end, the Sky’s slow start to begin the game was too much to come back from. The Sky quickly went down, 18-6, in the first, which forced head coach Teresa Weatherspoon to call timeout and stop the bleeding. That came after a 10-2 run, capped by treys from Laney-Hamilton (two) and Stewart. Stewart drained another in the first en route to a 15-point quarter on 5-of-7 shooting.

Stewart got back on track after entering Wednesday’s game averaging subpar numbers: 17.9 points on 43.7% shooting, including a poor 18.9% from deep.

She hopes to continue better play when the Libs take on the Atlanta Dream on the road on Thursday night.