NEW YORK, N.Y. – JUNE 10, 2015 – The New York Liberty continue its early season four-game home stand when it welcomes the Phoenix Mercury to Madison Square Garden on Thursday night at 7 p.m.
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ALL-TIME: New York leads, 20-18
LAST SEASON: Phoenix, 2-0
LAST MEETING: August 12, 2014 (at New York) – Phoenix 76, New York 64
New York rebounded from its 67-62 road loss on Saturday with an impressive win over the Indiana Fever on Tuesday, 86-79. Tina Charles led all scorers with 21 points as the Liberty outscored Indiana 24-13 in the third quarter to take control of the game.
Phoenix is playing just its second game of the season after receiving its championship rings on opening night with a win over the San Antonio Stars, 76-71.
FOLLOW THE LEADER
After scoring 21 points in the win over Indiana on Tuesday night, Tina Charles has now led the Liberty offensively in all three games this season. She is averaging 18.7 ppg, which ranks seventh in the WNBA, and the 21-point night against the Fever was her first 20-plus point game of the season.
ESSENCE COMES ALIVE
After a slow start in the first two games, Essence Carson came alive offensively vs. Indiana, scoring 14 points on 3-of-3 shooting from behind the arc. She had 11 of those points in the first half to help the Liberty keep pace with the Fever before breaking things open in the second half.
BOYD GETS THE START
Brittany Boyd was in the starting lineup for the first time in her career when New York hosted Indiana on June 9. She notched eight points and tied for the team lead with five assists, logging nearly 27 minutes.
LIVING UP TO HER REPUTATION
Rookie Kiah Stokes came into the league known as an outstanding shot blocker, and early in her pro career she is living up to that reputation. She swatted three shots in the game vs. Indiana on Tuesday, recorded two blocks at Washington and three in her rookie debut vs. Atlanta. She is second in the WNBA with 2.7 blocks per game, and first in the league with eight overall. With Stokes holding down the interior, New York ranks second in the league, averaging 6.0 blocks per game.
HIGH PERCENTAGE BUCKETS
Thanks to 57.1 percent field goal shooting clip in the second half of the win over Indiana on June 9, the Liberty finished the game with a season-best 49.2 percentage and now rank second in the WNBA, hitting 44.7 percent of its shots from the field overall. Excellent distribution of the basketball is playing a large part in this development, New York leads the league averaging 18.0 assists per game.
LIBERTY OFFSEASON HIGHLIGHTED IN ANNUAL GM SURVEY
The WNBA released its annual general manager survey before the start of the season and the Liberty factored into a pair of categories. According to the executives polled, rookie center Kiah Stokes was tabbed as the sleeper rookie most likely to be a success, receiving 25% of the votes. After a busy offseason, New York grabbed 25% of the votes as the team with the best offseason moves, finishing only behind Seattle in that category.