When the Washington Mystics went up 20 points on one of Tina Charles’ patented fadeaways in the paint one minute and 11 seconds into the third quarter, it seemly unlikely that the New York Liberty would be able to come back and win.
And yet, even though Charles (16 rebounds) went on to score 15 more points to give her 31, the Liberty stunned the Mystics with an 82-79 victory.
She just keeps on hoopin' @tinacharles31 now has the most 30 PT, 15 REB games in #WNBA history— WNBA (@WNBA) July 3, 2021
Shop the WNBA basketball collection https://t.co/LgSWoAv7Ks#CountIt x #wilsonbasketball pic.twitter.com/j0PAsRRSd4
New York went on a 9-0 run from 8:49 to 5:24 in the third. Later, a 7-0 run from 21 seconds remaining in the third to 8:20 to play cut Washington’s lead to three. Still, the Liberty trailed by eight with 5:36 to go. The final wave of the comeback was a 15-4 run to close the game.
Sabrina Ionescu (15 points, five assists) scored five points during the final run and Reshanda Gray (11 points, six rebounds) was the heroine with layups at the 1:46 mark and the 1:13 mark, the latter of which gave New York an 80-79 lead.
Despite her phenomenal performance, Charles missed two free throws that could have given the Mystics the lead back with 52.1 seconds to go. Missed threes by Leilani Mitchell and Shavonte Zellous and an offensive foul on Charles were followed by two free throws from Betnijah Laney (19 points) with 1.6 ticks remaining, which forced Mitchell to take contested three at the buzzer that wasn’t close.
Jazmine Jones finished with 17 points for the Liberty while Michaela Onyenwere added 11 and Sami Whitcomb contributed six to go along with nine boards.
Indiana Fever (2-16) over Connecticut Sun (12-6), 73-67
Teaira McCowan had a great game with 13 points and 12 rebounds and made the key inside basket to put Indiana up four with 25.5 seconds to go.
Danielle Robinson led the Fever with 19 points to go along with her five rebounds and Kelsey Mitchell had 14 and five.
Jonquel Jones notched 16 points and nine rebounds in defeat.
GOOD MORNING FEVER FANS pic.twitter.com/uQl37SqDBE— Indiana Fever ⛹️♀️ (@IndianaFever) July 4, 2021
Minnesota Lynx (9-7) over Phoenix Mercury (7-9), 99-68
The Lynx flat out dominated this one with 24 points from Kayla McBride on 4-of-6 shooting from outside. Napheesa Collier added 19 points, six rebounds and six assists while Layshia Clarendon was good for 17, seven and four. Damiris Dantas matched Clarendon’s rebound and assist totals and tossed in 14 points. Crystal Dangerfield rounded out Minnesota’s double figure scorers with 12 points and Sylvia Fowles hauled in 10 rebounds.
Skylar Diggins-Smith posted 12 points in defeat.