NEW YORK LIBERTY (14-12) vs. LOS ANGELES SPARKS (19-7)
Sunday, Aug. 13 • New York, N.Y. (Madison Square Garden) • 3:00 PM (ET)
The New York Liberty hosts the Los Angeles Sparks for its Breast Health Awareness Game presented by Fidelis Care on Sunday, Aug. 13, at Madison Square Garden. The Liberty will wear pink jerseys, and there will be a silent auction outside of section 101 on The Garden concourse featuring game worn Liberty pink and white jerseys. This will be the 3rd meeting of the season between the Liberty and Sparks, with LA taking the 1st two contests, most recently just last Friday evening, 87-74 at Staples Center. The Sparks have won 5-straight overall in the series.
• New York held off a strong 4th quarter charge to beat the Atlanta Dream 83-77 on Friday night at McCamish Pavilion. Shavonte Zellous led the way for New York with 20 points and Tina Charles finished with 15 points and 8 rebounds. The Liberty led by as many as 19 in the 1st half, but saw the lead cut down to just one at 75-75 after a Brittney Sykes 3-pointer. Epiphanny Prince came up clutch down the stretch, scoring all 4 of her points in the final :28, including a huge 15-foot pull up jumper to push the lead back to three.
• Tina Charles passed a pair of WNBA legends on all-time scoring lists during Friday night’s win at Atlanta. With 15 points she moved ahead of Penny Taylor into 21st place on the WNBA all-time scoring list (4,619) and surpassed Becky Hammon for 3rd place in Liberty history in scoring (2,376).
• New York will play 5 of it’s final 8 games at Madison Square Garden, but is entering one of its toughest stretches of the season, with its next three games coming against the top three teams in the league consecutively in Los Angeles, Connecticut, and Minnesota. The Liberty is 1-2 against Connecticut, but 0-2 against Los Angeles and Minnesota.
• New York shot 21-of-22 from the free throw line against Atlanta, it’s 2nd highest FT percentage of the season.
Two MVP candidates in Candace Parker and Tina Charles will go head-to-head for a 3rd and final time this regular season. Two of the WNBA’s leading scorers that both bring court vision and long-distance shooting in addition to scoring and rebounding. In the two meetings this season, Charles has averaged 17.5 ppg and 4.0 rpg, while Parker has averaged 22.0 ppg and 7.5 rpg, also dishing out 10 assists.
Los Angeles broke open a game that was tied 44-44 at the half with a 25-11 edge in the 3rd quarter to open up a double-digit lead en route to an 87-74 win against the Liberty last Friday night at the Staples Center. Bria Hartley (16) and Tina Charles (10) led the way for New York, but the Liberty was hampered by 14 turnovers that led to 19 points for the Sparks. Candace Parker (24) and Odyssey Sims paced the Los Angeles offense.
LIBERTY PARTNERS WITH RISE TO HOST 1ST-EVER UNITY GAME
The Liberty will partner with the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) to host a Unity Game at The Garden on Sunday, Aug. 20, when hosts to the Minnesota Lynx. Prior to tipoff, the Liberty and RISE will host a panel discussion from 1-2:30 PM in the Madison Square Garden Theater lobby, featuring a diverse group of athletes, law enforcement officials, and community activists, with a goal of developing a solution-oriented agenda focusing on creating positive change in the community. In the moments leading up to the game, the New York Liberty and Minnesota Lynx players will lock arms in a show of solidarity on court during the performance of the national anthem. Additional information about the Unity Game can be found at nyliberty.com.
ZELLOUS LEADS THE WAY IN THE ATL
Scoring a game-high 20 points, Shavonte Zellous powered the Liberty to an 83-77 win at Atlanta on Aug. 11. She set the tone early in the game, scoring 10 of her points in the 1st quarter when she was 4-of-5 at the line, and posted 20 points for the 4th time this season, and 1st since a victory at Dallas on June 16. Zellous is enjoying an impressive 2017 season for the Liberty, ranking 2nd on the team in scoring, averaging 12.2 ppg, the 2nd-highest scoring average of her career, while also posting career-highs in rebounding (4.2 rpg) and assists (3.1 apg).
TO THE POINT
Bria Hartley has been performing at a high level since re-joining the starting lineup before the game against the Washington Mystics on July 16. Over the previous 9 games she has scored in double figures 7 times, twice matching her season-high of 17 points, ranking 2nd on the team averaging 12.0 ppg while shooting .481 from the field (39-of-81) and .436 from 3-point range (17-39). She led the Liberty in scoring in back-to-back games for the 1st time this season, posting 17 points at San Antonio on Aug. 1, and following that up with 16 points against the Sparks on Aug. 4. Hartley has scored in double figures in 4-straight games, her longest such streak since her rookie season in 2014, when she had a stretch of 5-straight games from June 13-22.
LIBERTY FACTS & FIGURES – KEY NUMBERS
The number of points that Tina Charles needs to move past Chamique Holdsclaw (4,716) for 20th place in WNBA history in scoring. Charles currently ranks 21st with 4,619 points.
New York scored 36 points in the paint in the win over the Fever on Tuesday, compared to just 10 for the Fever, a margin of 26 points for the Liberty, its largest disparity in the paint this year. New York is 8-5 when it hold the advantage in the paint.
Bria Hartley’s rookie season, which was the last time she had a stretch of 4-straight games scoring in double figures. Hartley is averaging 14.0 ppg over the last 4 games.
The Liberty is leading the WNBA in defensive field goal percentage at .415. New York has led the league in defensive shooting percentage in back-to-back seasons.
Tina Charles has posted a double-double in 54.7 percent of her career games played. She has 140 double-doubles in her career and leads the Liberty with 11 double-doubles this season.
The Liberty shot .955 from the free throw line (21-of-22) in the win at Atlanta on Aug. 11. It was the 2nd-highest team free throw percentage of the season.