Connecticut Sun advance in WNBA playoffs
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Tina Charles had 25 points and 14 rebounds, and the Connecticut Sun closed with a 14-0 run to beat the New York Liberty, 75-62, on Saturday night in Newark to advance to the Eastern Conference finals.
Asjha Jones scored 18 points and Kara Lawson 15 to help the Sun finish the two-game sweep. Lawson had two 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter, including a 4-point play that started the final spurt and gave Connecticut the lead for good.
The Sun will face the winner of the Atlanta-Indiana series, which the Dream lead, 1-0, heading into Sunday’s game at home. Connecticut hadn’t won a playoff series since 2006, when it defeated Washington in the East semifinals to advance.
Cappie Pondexter scored 20 points to lead New York.
Lawson’s 4-point play with 3:58 left following a timeout gave the Sun a 65-62 lead. Plenette Pierson had just rallied New York from a 5-point deficit, scoring with 4:20 left to put the Liberty ahead, 62-61.
After Jones hit a jumper with just under three minutes remaining to push Connecticut’s advantage to 6, Lawson hit another 3 to make it 70-62.
Sparks 101, Silver Stars 94 — Candace Parker scored 32 points as Los Angeles closed its Western Conference semifinal series with host San Antonio.
Kristi Tolliver added 23 points and Alana Beard 17 for the Sparks. Sophia Young had 23 points for San Antonio, which was swept after taking three of four from Los Angeles in the regular season.
Jia Perkins added 16 points and Becky Hammon 15.
Los Angeles advances to face the winner of the Minnesota-Seattle series. The defending league champion Lynx have a 1-0 lead entering Sunday’s game at home.