LOS ANGELES, CALIF. – JULY 22, 2015 – The New York Liberty will attempt to head into the All-Star break on a five-game winning streak when it closes out the first half of the 2015 season against the Los Angeles Sparks on Wednesday night at the Staples Center. Tipoff is at 10:30 p.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast on MSG Network.
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ALL-TIME: New York leads, 20-18
2015 SEASON: NY, 1-0
LAST MEETING: NYL 77, LAS 70 (June 28, 2015)
New York has been successful against teams from the Western Conference this year, posting a 5-1 record, which includes a 2-0 mark during this current three-game road trip. However, Wednesday night’s game comes on the back end of two road games in as many days, with the Liberty flying down to Los Angeles on Wednesday morning after defeating the Seattle Storm in a closely contested 81-77 win on Tuesday night in Seattle.
This is the second meeting of the season between these two teams, with the Liberty picking up a 77-70 win at Madison Square Garden back on Jun 28.
Guard Sugar Rodgers stole the show that day for New York, pouring in a team-high 23 points while nailing three shots from 3-point range. Kristi Toliver did her best to keep the Sparks in the game, going for 30 points, the second-best individual effort against the Liberty this year, but Los Angeles shot just 36.7 percent as a team while allowing New York to post an efficient 48.3 team field goal percentage.
This is the third time the Liberty will be playing back-to-back games, and the second time in as many weeks. New York is 1-1 in those games, falling at Washington back on June 6, but beating Connecticut at home just last week at Madison Square Garden.
All-Star starting center Tina Charles is playing not only like one of the best players in the conference, but is making a valid argument for Most Valuable Player consideration for the Eastern Conference leading Liberty.
The reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week enjoyed one of the best offensive games of her career in leading New York past Seattle last night, pouring in 30 points on 14-of-24 shooting, her first 30-point game of the season and third as a member of the Liberty, falling two points shy of matching a career-high.
Since Epiphanny Prince returned to the lineup New York has gone 5-1, and is riding a four-game winning streak for the first time since 2011. Prince has steadily contributed 12.7 ppg, scoring in double figures in all six games, also dishing out 3.2 assists, good for second on the team behind Tanisha Wright (3.6).
At 11-5, New York leads Chicago by a half game in the Eastern Conference standings, and the Liberty is off to its best start since 2001, when it opened the year winning 16 of its first 21 games.