NEW YORK, N.Y. – JULY 12, 2016 – The New York Liberty returns to action on Wednesday, July 13, when it hosts the Atlanta Dream for Camp Day at Madison Square Garden, with a special tip time of 11 a.m.
This will be the third and final regular season meeting between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, as they split the first two games of the season with each team winning on the other’s home floor.
Both of those games went into overtime, and dating back to last season three straight in the series have needed additional time to be determined. Both squads are currently riding three-game winning streaks, with the Liberty leading the Dream by 3.5 games in the standings.
• The Liberty pulled away from the San Antonio Stars in the fourth quarter to pick up a 75-65 win on Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden. A 3-point game heading into the final period, New York closed out the Stars 25-18 in the fourth for its third-straight victory. Amanda Zahui B led the Liberty offensively for the first time this season, finishing with 14 points.
• Dating back to last season the last three games against Atlanta have gone to overtime, including a rare double-overtime contest last month in Atlanta. The Liberty has won 8-of-10 against the Dream.
• The Liberty is 15-6 through 21 games for the second time in as many seasons and the third time overall (1997). That is the second-best record to this point in the season in franchise history, trailing only the 2001 squad that was 16-5 on the way to finishing 21-11.
• New York has had a knack for playing close games this season, but pulling out wins in the end. The Liberty has played 15 games decided by 10 points or fewer, posting a 10-5 record in those contests. Six of the last seven games have been within 10 points or fewer and the Liberty has played a franchise-record six overtime games in 2016.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Tina Charles had an uncharacteristically low scoring game by her standards in the win over San Antonio on Sunday, netting 10 points with four rebounds. However, she has enjoyed success against the Dream this season, narrowly missing out on a triple double in the last meeting, a 90-79 win in double overtime for New York, when she finished with 23 points, 10 assists, and nine rebounds.
Charles is averaging 26.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 8.0 assists in two meetings with the Dream, and is shooting 3-for-6 from 3-point range. She has scored in double figures in all but one game this season, and the last time she netted fewer than 15 points, Charles bounced back with 21 points and 10 rebounds in the following game.
Through 21 games, Sugar Rodgers is on pace to shatter the Liberty’s single-season 3-point field goal record. She currently leads the league with 64 3-pointers, making her on pace to sink 104 shots from long distance this season. That would enable her to easily surpass the current Liberty top mark of 78, set by Shameka Christon in 2009, and would be the second-most threes for one player in a season in WNBA history.
Sinking a free throw with 15.1 remaining in an 88-85 win over the Chicago Sky on July 8, Liberty guard Tanisha Wright scored her 3,000th-career point, her second big milestone of the season, as she secured her 1,000th-career rebound in the Liberty’s win over Dallas on June 14. A 12-year veteran of the league, Wright is on a very rare list, as one of just 10 players in WNBA history to score at least 3,000 points, with 1,000 rebounds and 1,200 assists.