Carson scores 20 as Liberty beat Mystics 79-73

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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Essence Carson scored 20 points and Cappie Pondexter added 14 to lead the New York Liberty past the last-place Washington Mystics 79-73 on Saturday.

Kara Braxton had 14 points, including eight in a decisive 11-0 run in the second quarter, to help New York (10-16) snap a three-game losing streak. Carson shot 8 for 13 from the field and also had six assists. The Liberty moved into a tie for fourth place in the Eastern Conference with Chicago, which played at Indiana later. Atlanta is 3 1/2 games ahead in third.

Monique Currie scored 20 points, Crystal Langhorne had 19 points and eight rebounds, and Jasmine Thomas added 18 for Washington (5-21), which lost its fifth straight.

The Mystics took a 20-15 lead with about 2 1/2 minutes left in the first quarter on two consecutive drives by Langhorne and a power move from Thomas. The Liberty responded with the final seven points of the period, taking a two-point lead on Pondexter’s three-point play with 23 seconds remaining.

New York increased the lead to 29-24 on Leilani Mitchell’s 3-pointer with 6:49 to go in the second quarter.

The Liberty then went on its 11-0 run with Braxton taking over in the paint, making four baskets from close range to take a 40-26 lead with 3 1/2 minutes left in the first half.

Carson had 11 points in the opening 20 minutes and Braxton scored 10 to give New York a 45-32 lead at the break. Langhorne had eight to lead the Mystics.

Pondexter, who shot just 2 for 8 in the first half, found her touch in the third quarter. She scored nine points in the quarter as the Liberty extended their lead, with the biggest advantage at 55-37. New York led 63-50 heading to the fourth.

Washington pulled to 68-60 on a driving basketl from Thomas, but the Liberty held off the charge. Thomas’ 3 with 7 seconds left provided the final margin.

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