SEATTLE – Lauren Jackson scored 20 points in her return from a hip injury to help the Seattle Storm rally for a 63-62 victory over the New York Liberty on Saturday night.
Katie Smith hit a 3-pointer with 1:13 left to put Seattle (14-12) ahead after New York led 62-57.
Sue Bird added 14 points and Camille Little 11 for Seattle.
Jackson, a three-time WNBA MVP, returned after missing 20 games. She played the first five games of the season before tearing a labrum in her left hip.
Plenette Pierson had 15 points for New York (15-12). Essence Carson and Cappie Pondexter each added 12. Pondexter averaged 27.6 points in her previous three games.
Vaughn missed a 13-footer with 6.9 seconds left that would have given the Liberty a one-point lead. Carson then stole an inbound pass with 3 seconds left but had the ball stripped by Bird as she drove toward the basket and time expired.
Jackson scored the Storm's first 10 points of the fourth quarter to keep the game close. She fouled out with 4 minutes left and New York up 57-55.
Pierson and Vaughn had six points apiece in the third quarter to give New York a 49-45 lead. The Liberty outscored Seattle 22-13 in the period.
Leilani Mitchell hit a 3-pointer to give the Liberty their first lead at 39-36 midway through the third quarter. Little responded with five straight points for Seattle before the Liberty scored the final seven points of the period.
Seattle led 17-3 as New York missed nine of its first 10 shots from the field. Jackson scored eight to help the Storm to a 24-13 first-quarter lead. She made two free throws and a 3-pointer on the Storm's first two possessions and later added another 3-pointer.
The Storm led 32-27 at halftime.
The Liberty has lost seven straight at Seattle since a win in 2004.