Pondexter scores 31 points as Liberty beat Sun 88-87 in OT to earn No. 2 seed in East

Cappie Pondexter scored six of her 31 points in overtime, lifting the New York Liberty to an 88-87 win Sunday over the Connecticut Sun for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Nicole Powell scored 14 points for New York (22-12), which set a franchise record for victories.

Tina Charles had 21 points and 13 rebounds, Sandrine Gruda scored 18 points and Renee Montgomery had 17 for the Sun (17-17). Kara Lawson added 15 points, and Charles extended her WNBA record for double-doubles to 22.

McCarville made two free throws to give the Liberty an 85-82 lead with 2:53 left in the extra period. After Charles made a free throw 12 seconds later, Pondexter's jumper gave New York a three-point advantage with 56 seconds to go.

Asjha Jones hit two free throws for the Sun 21 seconds later, but Pondexter hit another jumper in the paint with 13.8 seconds remaining. Tan White had a short jumper for the Sun with 1.2 seconds left.

Washington, New York and Indiana began the day in a three-way tie for first place in the East. The Mystics secured the conference's No. 1 seed with a 90-81 win at Atlanta. The Fever played later at Minnesota, but is locked in the third spot because New York held the tiebreaker.

New York will host Indiana in Game 1 of their first-round series on Thursday.

After trailing by 12 early in the third quarter, the Sun made it 65-64 on Montgomery's layup with 8:19 left in the fourth.

Carson hit a jumper for New York 13 seconds later, and Gruda made four free throws about 1½ minutes apart to give the Sun a 68-67 lead with 6:22 to go in regulation. It was Connecticut's first advantage since it was up 3-2.

Pondexter followed with a three-point play to put New York back on top with 5:50 remaining, but Gruda's jumper tied the score 11 seconds later.

The teams traded leads the next 2½ minutes until Powell made a layup and Pondexter converted a three-point play to give New York a 79-75 lead with 1:53 remaining. Powell added a free throw 9 seconds later to push the advantage to five.

Lawson's 3 pulled Connecticut within two, and Charles' layup tied the score with 41.8 seconds left in the fourth.

Pondexter's potential winning shot at the end of regulation went off the backboard.

The Liberty led 46-34 after Mitchell's third 3 of the game early in the third quarter. The Sun then scored the next nine points to pull within three on Charles' shot with 6:46 left in the period.

New York answered with a 10-2 run, but the Sun scored the final seven points of the third quarter to pull to 62-59 on Anete Jekabsone-Zogota's 3 with 44.6 seconds left.

Pierson made a rare 3-pointer to give the Liberty a 43-34 lead at halftime. Her shot with 23.4 seconds before the break was her fourth of the season and first in 25 games with New York.