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Liberty knock out Sun, set up WNBA Finals showdown vs. Aces

Jonquel Jones burned her old team with 25 points and 15 rebounds as the New York Liberty set up a super-team WNBA Finals with the Las Vegas Aces by rallying for an 87-84 win over the Connecticut Sun on Sunday in Uncasville, Conn.

The Liberty trailed by as many as 10 in Game 4 before beating the Sun to take their semifinal series three games to one.

Jones, who joined league Most Valuable Player Breanna Stewart and veteran point guard Courtney Vandersloot as high-profile New York acquisitions in the offseason, made 5 of 6 free throws in the last minute to boost the Liberty into the best-of-five finals, which start Oct. 8 in Las Vegas.

Stewart added 27 points, including a pair of foul shots with 6.1 seconds left for a three-point lead. Connecticut penetrated the lane on its final possession and couldn’t squeeze off the tying 3 it needed to force overtime.

Betnijah Laney scored 21 for New York, which reached the finals for the first time in 21 years.

The Liberty trailed 75-74 with 2:53 left after DiJonai Carrington made a foul shot but Stewart answered with a 3-pointer at the 2:08 mark to give them the lead for good.

Alyssa Thomas led the Sun with 17 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists. Tiffany Hayes added 15 and Carrington scored 14 off the bench.

After allowing 37 points in the first quarter of its Game 3 loss Friday night, Connecticut offered considerably more resistance in this first quarter of Game 4. The Sun leaned on Thomas to take a 23-19 lead to the second quarter as she finished with eight points, five rebounds and four assists.

Connecticut pushed its lead to 33-23 at the 6:16 mark of the second quarter when Thomas set up Hayes for a 3-pointer. New York made its run shortly thereafter, scoring the final six points of the quarter and taking a 45-44 halftime lead on Sabrina Ionescu’s layup.

The Liberty led by 11 on two occasions late in the third quarter as Jones heated up for seven quick points, including a 3-pointer. Jones then fed Laney for a layup that made the margin 66-58 going to the fourth period.

–Field Level Media

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