NEW YORK — Breanna Stewart scored 32 points to help the Seattle Storm beat the New York Liberty 96-80 on Monday afternoon at a camp day game at Madison Square Garden.
Natasha Howard added 14 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks and five steals for the Storm (22-7). Seattle trailed 74-72 early in the fourth before Stewart’s three-point play sparked a 15-0 run that gave the Storm the lead for good.
Tina Charles and Kia Nurse each scored 20 points for the Liberty (7-21). Amanda Zahui B had 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Howard did a little bit of everything for the Storm during the game-changing spurt. She had a block, steal, basket, rebound and kept a few plays alive on both ends of the floor with her hustle. By the time Sugar Rodgers scored with just over 2 minutes left the game, it was out of reach for New York, which has dropped seven straight and 15 of its last 18 games.
It’s New York’s longest losing skid since dropping the final seven games of the 2013 season.
This was only the second game at the Garden this season — both were kids’ day games. The Liberty moved all the other home games to the Westchester County Center, which seats about 2,500.
Buoyed by an energetic crowd of 12,488, which included owner James Dolan and Chelsea Clinton, New York got off to a strong start against the WNBA’s top team. They were tied at 44 at the half.
Seattle built a nine-point lead in the third quarter, but the Liberty rallied behind Zahui B to take a 74-72 lead before fading.
Jewell Loyd added 17 points and seven assists for the Storm.
Seattle has already clinched a playoff spot, while New York was eliminated from the postseason with its loss Saturday to Indiana. It’s the first time since 2014 that the Liberty didn’t make the playoffs.
Epiphanny Prince (knee), Marissa Coleman (ankle) and Shavonte Zellous (ankle) didn’t play for New York.
Storm: Continue four-game road trip in Indiana on Tuesday.
Liberty: Host Los Angeles on Wednesday.