Jonquel Jones of the Liberty, left, and teammate Sabrina Ionescu celebrate after their...

Jonquel Jones of the Liberty, left, and teammate Sabrina Ionescu celebrate after their team's 93-88 win over the Washington Mystics in a WNBA game at Barclays Center on Sunday. Credit: James Escher

A taxing slice of WNBA life was coming to an end on Sunday at Barclays Center — five Liberty games in eight days.

They had swept the first four, three on the road, including Saturday, when they handed Connecticut its first loss. But would the Liberty have enough left to beat winless-but-often-competitive Washington on the back side of the back-to-back set?

It wasn’t easy, but the answer ultimately was yes.

The Liberty outlasted Washington, 93-88, to move to 11-2 with their seventh straight win. The Mystics dropped to 0-12.

“Honestly, [you] try not to think about what we just went through in the moment,” Breanna Stewart said. “ . . . As you can see, there were moments where it was just like mental and physical fatigue. We had a tough stretch. Happy we were able to come through 5-0.”

Those were their five Commissioner Cup games. The defending champions clinched a berth as the Eastern Conference representative in the Cup final on June 25 with the victory over Connecticut and clinched home-court advantage with the victory over Washington.

“Our fans are amazing,” Jonquel Jones said. “ . . . We want to go out there and do everything possible to get the [Cup] win for them.”

Jones did everything possible to get the win over the Mystics for the sellout crowd of 12,477. The 6-6 center delivered a season-high 29 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

Sabrina Ionescu had 19 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Stewart added 14 points. Reserve Leonie Fiebich had 12 points on four three-pointers.

The Liberty, who are tied for the best 13-game start in franchise history, were missing point guard Courtney Vandersloot for the third straight game because of personal reasons.

“We’re playing for her,” Ionescu said.

Washington, which was powered by Jade Melbourne’s 21 points and Myisha Hines-Allen’s 20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, led 77-74 early in the fourth quarter.

“We don’t look like a discouraged team,” Mystics coach Eric Thibault said before the game. “We don’t look like a team that’s mailing it in.”

Fiebich sank a tying three-pointer from the left corner and Kennedy Burke followed with a three from the right side for an 80-77 edge. A 12-2 run was underway, with Jones scoring the final six, as the Liberty took an 86-79 lead.

But the winless team kept coming. Hines-Allen made a steal and a layup to cut it to two with 26.9 seconds remaining.

Ionescu then hit one of two free throws — 89-86, Liberty.

Melbourne drove to slice it to one, but Jones converted a layup for a 91-88 edge with 8.7 seconds to go. Melbourne missed from beyond the arc and Betnijah Laney-Hamilton tacked on two free throws with three-tenths of a second left.

“We’re a good fourth-quarter team,” Liberty coach Sandy Brondello said.

The Liberty led 24-23 after one quarter, were tied at 45 at halftime and were ahead 72-70 going into the fourth.

After pushing through, they now will get a bit of a rest. Their next game isn’t until Saturday, when they will play on the road against the team that KO’d them in the WNBA Finals last October, the Las Vegas Aces.

Notes & quotes: Stewart and Ionescu have been picked for the U.S. Olympic team, according to an AP report. “Nothing’s confirmed yet,” Ionescu said, “but it would mean everything.” Stewart said, “Really excited to be able to represent Team USA in Paris.” . . . Oceanside’s Ali Berke performed the national anthem. “Barclays Center is a huge deal,” the 23-year-old singer said. “ . . . I’m very confident in the anthem. I’ve done it so many times.”



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