- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 22, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) - Tina Charles scored 22 points and Sugar Rodgers added 20 to help the top-seeded New York Liberty beat the Washington Mystics 79-74 on Tuesday night and advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2010.

Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals against Indiana will be Wednesday because the Pope is coming to New York and will be at MSG on Friday.

Trailing 72-71 with 1:46 left, Kiah Stokes hit a layup off a nifty assist from Rodgers. After a steal on the other end by Rodgers, she hit a layup with 58 seconds left to give New York a three-point lead. Ivory Latta hit two free throws with 42.5 seconds left to cut Washington’s deficit to 75-74.

Epiphanny Prince hit a 15-footer to make it a three-point game with 20 seconds left, and Latta’s 3-pointer was blocked with 5 seconds left as New York held on for the win.

LYNX 91, SPARKS 80

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Maya Moore had 20 points and eight rebounds to help the balanced Minnesota Lynx advance to the Western Conference finals with a victory over the Sparks in Game 3 of the conference semifinals.

Moore was just 6 for 21 from the floor, but Seimone Augustus added 16 points and Deveraux Peters scored 12 big points off the bench to push the top-seeded Lynx into their fifth straight conference finals. They will play Phoenix, which swept Tulsa in the other semifinal. Game 1 is on Thursday night in Minnesota.

Candace Parker had 28 points and 13 rebounds for the Sparks, who haven’t been to the conference finals since 2012. They trailed by 14 points in the first half but rallied to cut the deficit to one in the fourth quarter.

The Lynx responded with a 9-0 run to hold off Los Angeles.

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