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Full strength Wings come up short in New York

Wings guard Skylar Diggins played in her third game of the season and made her first start Tuesday as she recovers from ACL surgery.
Wings guard Skylar Diggins played in her third game of the season and made her first start Tuesday as she recovers from ACL surgery. AP

Tina Charles scored 28 points and Sugar Rodgers added 18 to help the New York Liberty beat the Dallas Wings 91-88 on Tuesday night.

Charles broke an 85-85 tie with a jumper from the top of the key with 40 seconds left after Kiah Stokes grabbed an offensive rebound. Dallas had a chance to take the lead, but Plenette Pierson’s 3-pointer fell short, and Stokes grabbed the rebound with 21 seconds left. Rodgers hit two free throws a few seconds later to make it a two-possession game.

Dallas (3-7) wasn’t done as Erin Phillips hit a 3-pointer to bring Dallas within 89-88 with 14.9 seconds left. Shoni Schimmel made two free throws on the ensuing possession and Odyssey Sims’ 3-pointer was blocked with a few seconds left to seal the win.

The Liberty (6-4) have won three of their past four games.

Dallas rallied from a 10-point deficit to take an 80-76 lead midway through the fourth quarter. New York answered with seven straight points, including a 3-pointer by Rodgers after an emphatic block on the other end by Stokes that made it 83-80. Karima Christmas’ 3-pointer with just over 2 minutes left tied the game at 85.

Christmas scored 21 points and Sims added 19 for the Wings, who have lost six straight.

Skylar Diggins played in her third game this season and started for the first time. The Wings star guard had just one point in 24 minutes as she’s still working her way back from an ACL injury she suffered last year. This was the first time this season that Dallas had its entire roster available.

Midway through the second quarter, Dallas lost Christmas for the rest of the half when she got the wind knocked out of her. Her replacement Phillips did what she could to keep the Wings in the game, scoring nine straight points, including a four-point play.

Dallas had no answer for Charles, who matched Phillips, scoring 10 straight points — including back-to-back 3s. New York led 56-50 at the half. They built the lead up to 64-54 before the Wings rallied.

Tuesday’s home game was a pit stop in New York for the Liberty. They head back out for another three-game road trip with stops in Connecticut, Indiana and Atlanta.

The Liberty held a moment of silence before the game for the Orlando shooting victims. When the moment was finished, the Liberty’s mascot waved a rainbow flag at center court. Tanisha Wright became the 11th player in league history to earn 2,500 points, 1,100 assists and 1,000 rebounds when she grabbed a rebound early in the first quarter.

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