The New York Liberty look to win a game, something they have not done since Sept. 9, as they host the Phoenix Mercury in a single-elimination playoff game Saturday at Madison Square Garden.
The Liberty, who have been out of action since Sept. 16, finished the season on a three-game losing streak — two of which came on the road.
Recent history is on the Liberty’s side. They hosted the Mercury on Sept. 3., defeating Phoenix 92-70, as forward Tina Charles led the way with 23 points and 15 rebounds. Although the Mercury notched a 104-97 win at the Garden on June 26, the Liberty also won, 99-88, in Phoenix on July 1.
The Mercury have won their last three games, including Wednesday’s 89-78 victory over the Indiana Fever on the road in their playoff opener.
The Liberty must find a way to control the Mercury’s offense, as they had five players with double-digits in two of their matchups. With two Olympic gold medalists, Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi, Phoenix has two strong scoring options. The Mercury also can rely on effective play from Candice Dupree and Penny Taylor, who have helped tremendously on offense.
The Liberty offense must click if they expect to win Saturday. As MVP candidate Tina Charles and breakout guard Sugar Rodgers lead the attack, expect key contributions from Brittany Boyd and Shavonte Zellous.