20070524/WASNYL
Liberty 81, Mystics 76
By VIN A. CHERWOO, AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK(AP) Erin Thorn and Shameka Christon scored 17 points apiece and Cathrine Kraayeveld added 16 to lead the New York Liberty to an 81-76 victory over the Washington Mystics on Thursday.

Barbara Farris scored 11 points and Thorn also had eight rebounds for New York, which scored the final six points - all from the free-throw line to improve to 2-0 for the first time since 1999. One game after tying a franchise record with 13 3-pointers, New York had 10 against the Mystics.

Alana Beard scored 23 points and DeLisha Milton-Jones had 14 points and eight rebounds for Washington (0-3). The Mystics opened the season with three losses for the first time since their inaugural 1998 season.

Chasity Melvin's putback gave the Mystics a 76-75 lead with 1:43 to go, but Washington was held scoreless the rest of the way.

Farris made two free throws with 1:24 left to put New York ahead for good, and Christon was 4-for-4 from the line in the final 31 seconds.

Thorn, who had a career-high seven 3s in the season-opening win against Chicago on Sunday, had five against Washington.

Ashley Battle's turnaround jumper in the opening minute of the fourth quarter gave the Liberty a 58-49 lead.

Washington then used a 13-2 run, capped by two free throws by Nikki Teasley, to take a 62-60 lead. It was Washington's first advantage since leading 22-21 with just under 8 minutes to go in the second quarter.

Kraayeveld hit a 3 and Farris made a layup to push New York back ahead by three with 6:47 to go.

After Beard's 3 capped a 7-2 run to give the Mystics a 69-67 lead with 5 1/2 minutes left, Kraayeveld made two free throws and Christon knocked down a 3 to put New York ahead again less than a minute later.

Teasley hit a tying 3 for Washington before Thorn regained the Liberty's lead, 75-72, with her fifth 3-pointer.