NEW YORK, May 23 (Ticker) -- The New York Liberty survived a sensational performance by Tina Thompson to defeat the Houston Comets and post their first victory of 2004.

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Becky Hammon and the Liberty have won eight straight home openers.
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Thompson scored a career-high 35 points but got little support from her teammates as the Comets fell to the Liberty 68-62.

Becky Hammon scored 16 of her 22 points in the second half and Elena Baranova added 12 and 14 rebounds for the Liberty, who lost at Indiana in their season opener on Friday 69-67.

New York held a 62-60 edge when Vickie Johnson nailed a jumper with 2:05 left to open a four-point cushion. Baranova sank a jumper with 1:13 to play and Hammon made a pair of free throw with 26 seconds remaining to make it 68-60 and effectively put the game away.

The Liberty, who improved to 7-2 all time at home against Houston in the regular season, took the lead for good, 57-54, on a coast-to-coast layup and free throw by Hammon with 5:45 left.

Aside from Thompson, who made 12-of-24 shots and 10-of-13 free throws, the rest of the Comets scored just 27 points. Sheryl Swoopes had 15 but no other player had more than six. The bench combined for just two points.