WASHINGTON, Aug. 21 (Ticker) -- With their backs against the wall, Elena Baranova and the New York Liberty delivered a back-breaking performance.

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Baranova scored 19 points off the bench as the Liberty overcame a 20-point deficit and defeated the Washington Mystics, 65-60, to move closer to securing a playoff berth.

Tamika Whitmore added 13 points and Kristen Sharp and Crystal Robinson had 10 apiece for the Liberty, who moved into a third-place tie with Cleveland in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The top four teams reach the postseason.

New York guard Vickie Johnson sprained her right ankle just over five minutes into the contest and did not return. The injury seemed to affect the team early as Washington raced to a 30-10 lead with 5:38 to play in the first half.

But the Liberty climbed within 33-19 at the break and continued to surge in the second half. Washington had a 60-54 lead after a layup by Stacey Dales-Schuman with 2:48 to play, but New York ended the contest with an 11-0 run.

A 3-pointer by Robinson tied it with 1:14 left, 34 seconds before Whitmore put the Liberty ahead for good, 62-60, with a layup.

Chamique Holdsclaw had 21 points to pace Washington, which fell to 0-2 on a three-game homestand.