NEW YORK, N.Y. – JULY 6, 2016 – The New York Liberty picked up a 78-74 wire-to-wire victory over the Seattle Storm on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden, but needed to hold off a late rally to preserve the win.
Despite leading by as many as 18 points in the first half, New York (13-6) found itself in a two-point game with 2:05 remaining after Breanna Stewart nailed her fourth 3-pointer of the night.
The score remained 75-73 until the final seconds, when Tanisha Wright was whistled for a non-shooting foul on Sue Bird with 4.9 on the clock. Bird stepped to the line and sunk her first free throw, but missed the second, and the Liberty secured the rebound and converted at the line down the stretch to seal the win.
Wright scored a season-high 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting and dished out five assists. Tina Charles finished with 18 points and six rebounds, seeing her nine-game streak of 20-point games come to an end, a stretch that ties for the fourth-longest in WNBA history.
Sugar Rodgers added 14 points for the Liberty, nailing three 3-pointers and dishing out a career-high seven assists.
The Liberty dominated early in the game, taking a 21-6 lead fewer than eight minutes into the action as Shavonte Zellous nailed a 17-foot jumper. New York opened the game shooting 10-of-14 from the field, while the Storm (6-12) hit on just three of its first 14 attempts.
Stewart scored nine of her game-high 24 points in the second quarter, as Seattle whittled its deficit down to just six by the half, and then managed to finish strong in the final period after New York had rebuilt a double-digit lead.
A Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis trey at 7:30 made it a one possession game, 67-64, for the first time since the opening moments, but Wright answered with back-to-back buckets to put the Liberty back up by seven, and Seattle was never able to come all the way back to take its first lead.
Stewart added 16 boards to post a double-double for Seattle, while Bird finished with six points and 10 assists.
New York returns to action Friday, July 8, when it faces the Chicago Sky at Allstate Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. (ET).
• Tina Charles saw her nine-game streak of 20-point games come to an end. That ties for the fourth-longest such streak in WNBA history.
• Tanisha Wright scored a season-high 18 points and is averaging 14.0 ppg over the last three games.
• Sugar Rodgers hit three more 3-pointers and increased her WNBA leading season tally to 57 on the year.
• The Liberty has now won eight straight over Seattle and has not lost to the Storm since 2012.
• Breanna Stewart led Seattle with 24 points and pulled down 16 rebounds, recording her
second-straight double-double, and her seventh in her career. It is the eighth game she has
recorded double-digit rebounds in her career.
• Seattle shot 5-of-19 in the first quarter, the team’s lowest scoring output in the first frame in
2016. Previous was 12, @ Phoenix, 5/20/16.
• Sue Bird’s 6 points tonight are the second-lowest total the guard has scored in a single game