WNBA: Prince hits game-winner over Mercury with 4.5 seconds left
PHOENIX — Epiphanny Prince hit a go-ahead jumper with 4.5 seconds left and the New York Liberty held off the Phoenix Mercury 69-67 on Tuesday night.
Prince dribbled down the clock and used two high screens to sink the jumper from the wing. After a timeout, Leilani Mitchell drove to the basket but her shot was blocked by Sugar Rodgers.
Prince was 10 of 14 from the field, including four 3-pointers, and finished with 24 points. Tina Charles added 22 points and 11 rebounds for New York (2-1), which is ranked fourth in the AP power poll.
Phoenix (2-2) struggled offensively for much of the game without star Diana Taurasi. She was serving a one-game suspension after an incident in last Friday’s game against San Antonio. She was called for a technical foul during the game but the league office ruled it a level two flagrant foul.
New York led by 15 points with 2:47 left in the third quarter but Phoenix closed on a 12-0 run and led 67-62 with 2:51 left. Prince hit a 3-pointer and Kia Vaughn a hook shot to tie it with 1:42 left to set up the exciting finish.
Brittney Griner led Phoenix with 19 points and six blocks.
Los Angeles and Minnesota picked up where they left off, combining to go 5-0 in the opening week. A look at the first regular season WNBA poll.
Los Angeles (2-0): The Sparks got to celebrate their title one final time with the ring ceremony . Some of the names have changed, but they look every bit the part of defending champions.
Minnesota (3-0): Passed early season test in New York with ease. Lynx look hungry after falling just short against the Sparks in WNBA Finals last season.
Seattle (2-1): Jewell Loyd has carried the Storm the first three games, scoring over 25 points in each contest. Now with Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird back and healthy , the Storm look good. They have their best ranking ever in the power poll.
New York (1-1): Lost to Minnesota badly and also lost point guard Brittany Boyd for the season with a left Achilles injury. Up next is a West coast trip to try and find themselves.
Phoenix (2-2): Brittney Griner played really well in the two wins and was off her game in the loss.
Washington (1-2): The Mystics can put a lot of points on the board with the edition of Elena Delle Donne and Kristi Toliver. They’ve had trouble stopping people so far. It will take time for the team to jell.
Dallas (1-1): Followed up a big win in Phoenix with a tough loss to Minnesota. If everyone can stay healthy, the Wings could challenge for a playoff spot and more.
Atlanta (2-1): Tiffany Hayes has done a solid job filling in for Angel McCoughtry, who is sitting out the season to rest. Hayes, averaging just under 20 points a game, injured her ankle Sunday and the Dream need her to be healthy for Saturday’s game against Los Angeles.
Indiana (1-2): A fourth-quarter rally against Connecticut enabled the Fever from starting the season 0-3.
Chicago (1-2): Getting Allie Quigley and Courtney Vandersloot back will help the Sky. The duo still hasn’t played since returning from Turkey.
Connecticut (0-2): The Sun are playing hard and just falling short. Jonquel Jones has made huge strides this season, averaging a double-double in the first two games.
San Antonio (0-3): Still waiting to get everyone healthy and on the court. The starting backcourt of Moriah Jefferson and Kelsey Plum has been on the sidelines injured for the first three games.