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Liberty 88, Mystics 45

August 14, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ Kisha Ford scored 17 of her season-high 19 points in the second half as the New York Liberty moved into a first-place tie in the WNBA’s Eastern Conference with a 88-45 rout of the Washington Mystics.

New York (17-10) and the Cleveland Rockers are tied at the top, a half-game ahead of Charlotte with three games left. The Liberty and Rockers will meet for the final time Monday night at Madison Square Garden.

The 43-point margin was New York’s largest in its two-year history,

Rebecca Lobo and Sophia Witherspoon each had 12 points for the Liberty, who have won eight of nine and 11 of 13 home games.

New York opened the second half with a 14-5 run to take a 53-29 lead with 12:32 left.

After Keri Chaconas’ basket cut the deficit to 22, the Liberty broke out on a 24-7 run to lead 77-38 with 3:45 left.

The loss was Washington’s worst of the season. The expansion Mystics (3-24) had a 30-point loss to Charlotte. The Liberty beat Sacramento by 22 for its biggest previous margin this season.

The Mystics, who have lost two of three after breaking an 11-game losing streak, were led by Nikki McCray with 21 points. They are winless this season in 14 road games and are assured of finishing with the league’s worst record.

As has been their recent custom, the Liberty used an early run to take control. New York held Washington scoreless for over five minutes and scored 13 straight points to take a 19-4 lead with 12:33 remaining in the first half.

New York defeated the Mystics all four times the teams played, woith an average margin of 13.5 points a game.

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