NEW YORK — Tina Charles had 19 points and 11 rebounds, Essence Carson added 10 points and the New York Liberty beat the Phoenix Mercury 68-57 on Thursday night.
The Liberty (3-1) never trailed to remain undefeated at home, and snapped a four-game losing skid against Phoenix. New York is 3-1 for the first time since the 2007 season. The Mercury (1-1) were only able to tie it once, 23-23 with 1:15 left in the second quarter.
New York opened the third quarter on a 12-3 run and led 48-39 heading into the fourth. This was second straight game that New York used a big third quarter to blow open a close game. The Liberty have outscored opponents 70-45 during the third quarter in their last three games combined.
Kiah Stokes had 11 rebounds for the Liberty, who outrebounded the Mercury 51-27.
DeWanna Bonner scored 22 points, Candice Dupree added 12 and Currie had 11 for Phoenix.
Brittney Griner missed the Mercury’s only trip to Madison Square Garden because she was still serving her suspension after being arrested on domestic violence charges in April.
Leilani Mitchell, who spent the first six years of her career with the Liberty, missed all seven of her shots from the floor. Mitchell missed last season while training with Australia for the FIBA World Championship. She received a warm ovation from the crowd in pregame introductions.