Liberty fall short to Sparks in Charles’ record-breaking game
New season, same old New York Liberty. The good news is Tina Charles is now the all time Liberty scorer. The bad news is, the Liberty haven’t won a WNBA game in the last 16 tries.
We’re just two weeks into the 2019 WNBA season, but things already aren’t looking good for the New York Liberty. New York lost to Indiana on a last-second put-back in its first game of the regular season and was then blown out in the ensuing rematch.
After being in control for most of the game, Los Angeles Sparks’ Chelsea Gray took over. Gray scored a career-high 29 points and keyed the Los Angeles Sparks’ rally in the fourth quarter to beat the New York Liberty 78-73 on Tuesday in a school matinee game.
New York had a chance to tie, but Charles’ 3-pointer bounced off the rim.
”I just sensed we weren’t getting the looks we wanted to and I saw the ball wasn’t moving,” said Gray, who also recorded her 500th career assist. ”Looks get better as the ball swings side to side. I saw one go down and it felt good. My teammates were like `that’s a good shot and keep doing it.”’
Gray made all four of her free throws in the final 23 seconds to seal the win.
”She’s been working her way back into condition after playing overseas,” Sparks coach Derek Fisher said. ”She hasn’t played at this level the first few games, today she did.”
Chiney Ogwumike added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Sparks (2-1), who started a four-game road trip.
Charles finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Her last basket of the game moved her into first place on the franchise all-time scoring list, passing Vicki Johnson with 3,248 points.
Amanda Zahui B. anchored the New York defense. She had six blocks – two short of the franchise record set by Kiah Stokes.
Tina Charles becoming All-Time Liberty scorer means something
Late in the fourth quarter, Charles scored her 3,249th career point to become the New York Liberty’s all-time leading scorer. Charles’ 21-point, 14-rebound double-double wasn’t enough to aid her team to a win.
“It means a whole lot,” said Charles following the game. “This franchise means the world to me. So for that to happen, I would of never imagined it. I’m just grateful to be able to play in my city, New York.”
The previous Liberty scoring record was set in 2005 by 13-year WNBA vet Vicki Johnson.
The Liberty just can’t catch a break
It’s been a tough first three games for the Liberty. It isn’t like the Liberty aren’t trying or showing since of greatness, it’s the lack of finishing that is hurting the team so far.
”Tough one. Best effort of the season out of the three games,” said Liberty coach Katie Smith, who celebrated her 45th birthday. ”We had a lot of opportunities to finish this thing off. … Three stops in a row that hurt us. We’ve got to find a way to get those in.”
Next Up For The Liberty
The Liberty will try again for their first win of the season on Friday night, when they host the Washington Mystics at 7:30 pm
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