NEW YORK — With the game on the line, the New York Liberty weren’t about to let another one slip away to Seattle.
Tina Charles had 21 points and 14 rebounds and New York used a 12-1 late run to beat the Seattle Storm 94-86 on Sunday.
“We had total confidence down the stretch,” Charles said. “Sugar (Rodgers) and Shavonte (Zellous) came up with big plays for us.”
Trailing 83-80 with 3:05 left, Bria Hartley tapped the ball to Shavonte Zellous to hit a 3-pointer that tied it and started the game-ending burst. On the next play, she stripped the ball from Jewell Loyd and then converted the layup on the other end that gave New York the lead.
A free throw by Alysha Clark got the Storm within 85-84 but Kiah Stokes’ putback made it 87-84 with 1:15 left. Seattle then turned it over on the next possession and Zellous converted another layup to seal the win and give New York (6-3) a fourth straight win.
“We’re playing well right now despite missing two key people,” Charles added.
New York has gone 4-0 since Epiphanny Prince and Kia Vaughn left for the EuroBasket tournament.
Breanna Stewart finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Storm (5-4), who beat New York last month, rallying down the stretch. Sue Bird finished with a season-high 21 points and Loyd had 19.
“Put ourselves in a hole early on, it takes a lot of energy to fight back from that,” Bird said. “Down the stretch, they made more plays than we did. We had some costly turnovers and they were able to get just enough of a lead. When there’s 45 seconds, five is just enough of a lead to secure it.”
Rodgers had 21 points and Zellous 16 for New York.
“We were just able to get defensive stops at the end, we still have a lot of things to work on,” Rodgers said. “We just have to work on the little things like offensive rebounding and boxing out. Just little key things that will get us to the playoffs and to a championship.”
New York held an 11-point lead in the second quarter before Stewart and Bird rallied Seattle within 43-40 at the half. Stewart had 14 points and Bird added 13 points in the opening 20 minutes. Charles led New York with 13.
For the first time this season and only the second time in the last two years, New York won when it trailed heading into the fourth quarter. The Liberty were 1-11 last season and 0-2 this year.
STORM: Bird is second on the league’s all-time assist lead, trailing only Ticha Penicheiro, who finished her career with 2,599. Bird has 2,468.
LIBERTY: In New York’s win over Atlanta on Wednesday, Stokes and Charles became just the fourth set of teammates in WNBA history to each grab 15 or more rebounds in a game. They were the only the second to do it in a regulation game. … After leading wire-to-wire in the last two games, the Liberty gave up the first basket of the game ending that streak. It was the first time since 1999 that New York had consecutive games where the team didn’t trail.
STORM: Begin a three-game homestand against Atlanta on Tuesday.
LIBERTY: Visit Connecticut on Wednesday.
The AP WNBA Power Poll can be found online at: http://collegebasketball.ap.org/ap-wnba-power-poll-week-4