Alana Beard scored 28 points, Nakia Sanford had 16, and the Washington Mystics held on for a 78-75 victory over the New York Liberty on Thursday night.

Monique Currie added 11 points, and Crystal Langhorne had 11 rebounds for Washington (10-8), which won for the third time in four games.

Janel McCarville scored a season-high 28 points and Shameka Christon had 17 for New York (6-11), which lost its third straight for the third time this season.

After trailing by 22 early in the third quarter, the Liberty used a 10-0 run to pull to 73-71 on McCarville's two free throws with 3:05 to go.

Beard had a jumper about 50 seconds later and added a free throw with 1:42 left to push the Mystics' lead to five.

McCarville, who had nine points in the fourth, made a layup 11 seconds later to cut the Liberty's deficit to 76-73. Lindsey Harding made a free throw with 15 seconds left to seal Washington's win.

New York used an 8-2 run to pull to 69-59 on Loree Moore's free throw with 7:11 remaining.

Moore had a 3-pointer to cut the Liberty's deficit to single digits with just under 5 minutes to go. McCarville made two free throws, and Christon had a three point play to make it 73-69 with 3:45 left.

Beard had a jumper and Langhorne a layup in the opening minute of the third quarter to stretch Washington's lead to 49-27, tying its biggest advantage of the game.

Christon's 3-pointer with 6:49 left in the third pulled New York to 53-38, and McCarville made a free throw to cut the deficit to 14 about 3 minutes later.

Sanford, who scored eight points in the third, had consecutive layups to push the Mystics' lead back to 18 a minute later.

Currie and Beard scored 10 points each as Washington grabbed a 34-12 lead after the first quarter. The Mystics shot 68 percent from the field (13 for 19) for its highest scoring quarter this season.

It was the most points New York has allowed and the fewest it scored in a first quarter.

Currie had seven points during the Mystics' 15-0 run that gave it a 17-2 lead with 4:49 left in the quarter. Harding's jumper with 8.5 seconds to go provided the 22-point margin.

After their strong opening period, the Mystics were just 4 for 18 in the second but still tied their season high for first-half scoring with 45 points.