Liberty put a spell on the Mystics, advance to East Finals after 79-54 victory
Led by Coach of the Year Bill Laimbeer, the New York Liberty defeated the Washington Mystics 79-74 Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden in game three of the Eastern conference semifinals series between the two teams. The Mystics had a chance to get within two in the last minute but a trey attempt by guard Ivory Latta was blocked by Liberty rookie Kiah Stokes.
The Liberty’s playoff appearance is the team’s first since 2012 and 13th overall. New York has won the Eastern conference title three times (1999, 2000, 2002) and been to the WNBA finals four times (1997, 1999, 2000, 2002). The Liberty has won all three of its playoff series versus the Mystics (2000, 2012 and 2015).
Tina Charles led the Liberty with 22 points, 12 rebounds and four assists. Sugar Rodgers finished with 20 points and Candice Wiggins scored 12 points.
Latta paced Washington with 18 points and seven assists. Tierra Ruffin-Pratt had 17 points and four assists while Kia Vaughn contributed 10 points and nine rebounds.
New York will face the Indiana Fever tomorrow night at MSG (7 p.m. ET, ESPN 2) in game one of the three-game Eastern conference finals series. The Fever arrived in New York today and watch the Liberty beat the Mystics. The games (tonight’s and tomorrow) are back-to-back in order to accommodate Pope Francis’ visit to Madison Square Garden where he is scheduled to deliver mass on the evening of the 25th.
By the Numbers
Points in the Paint: Mystics 30, Liberty 28
Second Chance Points: Mystics 13, Liberty 16
Fastbreak Points: Mystics 10, Liberty 5
Biggest Lead: Mystics 12, Liberty 8
Lead Changes: 7
Times Tied: 3
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