The hottest WNBA team right now is the New York Liberty. This isn’t even up for debate. The Liberty (19-12) won its 7th in a row, defeating the Washington Mystics (17-13) 74-66 on Friday night, in front of a rocking playoff ready crowd at the Garden.

Epiphanny Prince and Tina Charles both scored 20 points to lead the Liberty.  Shavonte Zellous had 15 points for the Liberty and Bria Hartley added 10.

The Liberty broke open a close game with a 14-2 run from the end of the 3rd period deep into the 4th. Bria Hartley hit a 3-pointer near the end of the 3rd to put New York in front by 1, and Prince nailed a three to start the scoring in the 4th quarter and the Liberty never trailed again, with its lead reaching as many as 10 down the stretch.

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The Mystics were limited to just 6 points in the 4th quarter, 4 of which came over the final 1:01 of the game.  The Liberty have proven they can close out a game in the fourth quarter.  The team is now 10-0 when leading in the fourth quarter.

”We take pride in our defense,” Charles said. ”Being aggressive and doing what we do out there.”

Delle Donne had been sidelined since the beginning of August with a torn ligament in her left thumb. The Mystics’ leading scorer missed six games and Washington went 3-3. She finished with 15 points


The Liberty shut down the Mystics by crowding Delle Donne, as well as centers Krystal Thomas and Emma Meesseman, and forcing Washington to shoot from the perimeter. The Mystics shot just 3-for-18 on 3-pointers, a lowly 16.7 percent.
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The Liberty Keep Gaining Ground 

The Liberty moved a game and a half ahead of Washington for the No. 4 seed in the WNBA playoffs, and also pulled within one game of Connecticut for the No. 3 position after the Sun lost on Friday night to the Chicago Sky, 96-83. New York won the season series against the Mystics 2-1 and now own the head-to-head tiebreak in the standings.

”This was a big win for us and was important in the standings,” New York’s Shavonte Zellous said.

The Liberty are not only playing their best basketball of the season right now, they are putting everyone on notice, once the playoffs begin. The Liberty are taking the right approach ending the season. Play hard and keep the consistency going. Seems like it was just a few weeks ago, the Liberty were a 500 team.

“We really wanna look at that bye and skip that first round and we put ourselves in good position, but there’s still a lot of basketball to be had,” Laimbeer said.


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What’s Next For The Liberty?

The Liberty return to action, this Sunday, when they host the Chicago Sky at 3pm. A win Sunday will help New York secure a bye, while Chicago is looking to pass Dallas for the final postseason spot.