New York nips Dallas to grab playoffs third seed

Arlington, Texas – The New York Liberty hung on to edge the Dallas Wings, 82-81 Sunday and clinch the third seed in the WNBA playoffs and end the regular season on a ten-game winning streak.

Tina Charles led the way for New York with 18 points and 18 rebounds and Epiphanny Prince had 20 points. Three of their teammates were also in double figures. Dallas will enter the postseason in the No. 7 spot.

The match up was a battle that consisted of 12 ties and 10 lead changes, where a couple of plays made the difference down the stretch.

In the final seconds, the Wings were unable to capitalize on the turnovers by the Liberty, including the extra possession they gave up after a backcourt violation with two seconds left. Skylar Diggins-Smith had a decent look at the three for the win, but it did not fall through at the buzzer.

New York coach Bill Laimbeer said his team played hard, but they did not play well.

“We made some really bad mental decisions in the last minute, but we’re fortunate to get a win,” he said.

The Liberty appeared to be out of sync in the first half. Charles said they team did not come out the way they wanted to.

“You’ve got to tip your hat to Dallas, they played a well game, they’ve been playing well all season,” Charles said.

Dallas coach Fred Williams said that the game had a playoff feel to it and it was a good atmosphere to have at home.

“I thought today, we gave our fans like a playoff game. The game came down to possessions,” he said.

The Wings will head east to face the Washington Mystics Wednesday in the first round for a single-elimination game. They were 2-1 against the Mystics in the regular season. The Liberty get a first-round bye and will host the second round single-elimination game.