The Golden Maddies: Best Game

The nominees for Best Game (Oscar equivalent: Best Picture) are as follows:

GAME WHAT HAPPENED?

May 20

LET IT RAIN: Chicago 71, New York 83
Despite a slow start, New York took Chicago by storm on Opening Day … The Liberty faced a double-digit deficit in the third quarter, but roared back behind the play of its veterans … In addition to guard Erin Thorn’s career-high 28 points, three Liberty players posted double figures … Shameka Christon scored 14 points, Loree Moore had 12 and Cathrine Kraayeveld added 10 … The Sky out-scored the Liberty in the paint 26-20 … As a team, New York was nearly perfect from the charity stripe, shooting 18 for 20 … Led by Thorn’s career-best seven three-pointers, the Liberty connected on 13 three-pointers, matching a franchise record … Despite a 20-point, 11-rebound effort from Chicago’s Monique Currie , the Liberty went on a 11-0 run in the fourth quarter and sealed its first victory of the 2007 WNBA season.

June 3

STEPPING UP: Phoenix 82, New York 83
The Mercury led the Liberty throughout the first half, by as many as 12 points, behind the play of Diana Taurasi and Penny Taylor, with 13 points a piece … Heading into halftime, New York’s Loree Moore led all scorers with 14 points, five boards and two assists … The Liberty capitalized on the Mercury’s foul trouble in the third quarter, connecting on seven of 10 baskets from the charity stripe … With the Liberty trailing by five half way through the final quarter, Erin Thorn and Shameka Christon hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give New York a 74-73 lead with 4:22 remaining … Cappie Pondexter nailed a three-pointer to put Phoenix up 80-78 with 1:40 to go, but in the next play New York’s Cathrine Kraayeveld evened the score with a lay-up … Pondexter broke the tie with a lay-up and 10.3 seconds remaining … Liberty rookie Jessica Davenport stepped into a veteran role to convert a go-ahead three-point play over the Mercury to help New York remain unbeaten … Moore finished with a game/career-high 22 points, while Davenport added a career-high 15.

July 6

SNAP THE STREAK: New York 82, Detroit 81 (OT)
New York started the game 0-6, but went 5-8 from the field to finish the quarter with a total of 15 points led by Loree Moore with seven … In the second quarter, Detroit answered a New York 7-2 run, with a 9-2 run of their own to earn their largest lead of the game at eight … Back to back three pointers by Moore and Shameka Christon helped New York close to within five just before the end of the half … Cheryl Ford led all scorers with 12 points and also pulled down a first half high six rebounds … Moore led the Liberty with ten first half points and two assists … In the third quarter, Erin Thorn hit a three pointer to tie the game at 37-37 with her first points since returning from a sprained ankle that kept her sidelined for four games … Moore earned her fourth assist of the night on Janel McCarville’s made basket that cut the Shock lead to one, entering the final period with the score 49-48 … Christon’s three pointer at the 8:44 mark gave New York its first lead since late in the first quarter when the score was 15-13 … After spending much of the first half on the bench due to foul trouble, Kraayeveld scored 12 points in the fourth quarter …  Deanna Nolan hit a three pointer with 4.2 second remaining in regulation to send the game into overtime … New York scored the first six points of overtime and held on for the win … McCarville recorded her first career double-double with career highs in points with 18 and rebounds with 12 … Moore finished with a career high 9 assists … Ford led all scorers with 22 points and pulled down a game-high 18 rebounds … The Liberty snapped a nine-game losing streak in Detroit.

July 8

READY FOR MORE: Sacramento 61, New York 71
After taking down the best team in the Eastern Conference just two days prior, the Liberty hosted the best in the Western Conference at home ... New York opened the game with a season-high 32-point first quarter performance and never looked back … The Liberty’s 11 for 14 shooting from the field contributed to a 16-0 run … The hosts led by as many as 23 in the second quarter and headed into the half with a 48-28 lead over the Monarchs, despite 11 first-half points from Rebekkah Brunson… The 48 points were four off the franchise record of 52 set against the Phoenix Mercury on June 21, 2001 ... Erin Thorn and Shameka Christon poured in 11 and 10 points respectively … Sacramento opened the fourth quarter with a 12-3 run to pull within nine points, however New York pushed the tempo to maintain its lead and secure the victory … Brunson led all scorers with 18 points and nine rebounds … The Liberty finished with four players in double figures, led by Thorn and Cathrine Kraayeveld with 13 points each.

August 12

AT THE BUZZER: Detroit 84, New York 85
The Liberty rallied from a 13-point third quarter deficit and captured the victory with a (memorable) buzzer-beating running jumper from Erin Thorn to keep its post-season hopes alive ... New York poured in 32 first quarter points to lead Detroit by four … The Shock received four straight baskets from reserve forward Plenette Pierson in the final two minutes of the second period to bring the score to a tie at 49 … Coming out of the half, Detroit used a 19-2 run to take a 64-51 lead … To start the fourth, the Liberty went on its own run (12-2) to pull within three points … Janel McCarville scored four straight points to pull New York to 72-70 … Deanna Nolan extended the lead to five after nailing a trey, however the Liberty brought it back with a free throw from Ashley Battle and lay-up from Tiffany Jackson …  Loree Moore hit a three of her own and the Liberty were within one with just over five minutes to play …  Nolan answered with another three and a jumper to push Detroit's lead to six … After Nolan hit another jumper with 2:13 left, Battle's trey 20 seconds later pulled the Liberty to 84-81 …  Cathrine Kraayeveld connected on a lay-up with 41.9 seconds to go, to pull New York within one … On the next play, the Liberty grabbed the rebound off of Nolan’s missed jumper in the lane, leaving 25 seconds on the game clock … New York then retained possession three times when the ball went out of bounds, including the final time with 3.3 seconds left … Nolan led all scorers with 19 points … Jackson led the Liberty with 16 points and six rebounds, and five other players finished in double figures: McCarville (14), Thorn (11), Battle (11) and Moore (11).

August 19

IT'S NOT OVER: Chicago 52, New York 58
The Liberty clinched the last Playoff berth in the Eastern Conference with its come from behind win over the Sky … New York held Chicago to just 20-percent shooting from the field in the first-half … Each team collected 20 boards … Cathrine Kraayeveld netted eight points and grabbed five boards to give the Liberty a 28-21 lead heading into the break … The Sky got off to a roaring start in the second half, opening the third quarter with a 10-0 run and took a three-point lead with seven minutes remaining … Jia Perkins and Armintie Price had consecutive layups to push the Sky's advantage to 45-36 with 36 seconds … Ashley Battle's driving layup with 20 seconds left in the third started an 8-0 run for New York, which pulled within one on Janel McCarville's basket with 7:41 to go in the game … After two missed free throws by Candice Dupree, Shameka Christon nailed a trey to give the Liberty a 49-47 lead … Chicago took a one-point lead with three minutes left after a free throw and lay-up from Dominique Canty … In the next possession, McCarville gave the Liberty its lead back with a layup, while Christon hit a turnaround jumper with 1:49 left … McCarville then stole the ball from Brooke Wyckoff on the other end made a jumper to push the lead to 55-50 … Dominique Canty ’s layup with 40 seconds remaining brought the Sky within three, but Christon hit another three-pointer to seal the win … Canty finished with 14 for Chicago, while Christon led the way with 15 ... The Liberty earned its eighth post-season campaign in its 11-year history.

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