Kara Braxton scores 22 points, Cappie Pondexter adds 19 to help Liberty top Mystics 88-78
WASHINGTON – Kara Braxton scored 22 points, Cappie Pondexter had 19 and the New York Liberty again dominated the Washington Mystics in an 88-78 victory Wednesday night.
Kelsey Bone had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Liberty (8-11), who had lost four of five games.
Trailing 62-61 early in the fourth quarter in the back-and-forth game, the Liberty took the lead for good on Bone's jumper with 8:59 remaining. The basket started a 13-2 run, capped by Pondexter's 3-pointer with 5:59 remaining for a 74-64 lead.
Matee Ajavon had a season-high 20 points for the Mystics (9-9).
New York won four of five against Washington last season, including the last three. In the first of four meetings between the two teams this season, Ivory Latta and Emma Meesseman each scored 11 for Washington.
Braxton made her first 10 shots from the field, including six in the first half, and finished 11 of 14 overall. New York held a 56-26 points-in-the-paint advantage.
The Mystics stayed close from the free throw line, making 18 of 20, but were outrebounded 43-34.
The Liberty held a 12-point lead in the fourth as they improved to 3-7 on the road. Washington closed within six points in the final 16 seconds, but would get no closer.
New York led after quarter and 35-33 entering the second half. Braxton continued her interior domination with three field goals as New York pulled ahead 45-38. Ajavon scored seven points in the quarter to help Washington cut it to 59-58 entering the fourth.
Both teams played their first game since the All-Star break. Braxton feasted inside quickly, scoring New York's initial five baskets and the Liberty started 6 of 6 from the field for a 12-2 lead.
Washington, which only shot 28.9 percent in the first half and 36.4 overall, countered with a 10-2 run as the margin stayed within five points for the remainder of the half.