ATLANTA (AP) — Tina Charles had 29 points and 14 rebounds as the New York Liberty beat Atlanta 83-76 to spoil Dream coach Michael Cooper’s early return to the sideline.
Cooper missed Atlanta’s past five games after being diagnosed with early-stage tongue cancer, and had surgery July 24. Team officials at the time said that Cooper, 58, was expected to miss about two weeks.
By winning eight of their past 12 games after a 4-11 start, the fourth-place Liberty (12-15) have pulled within five games of the first-place Dream (17-10) in the East, and New York took the season series against Atlanta 3-1.
Atlanta leads second-place Washington by 4 games, and Indiana by 4 1-2
Angel McCoughtry led Atlanta with 28 points, including four 3-pointers, and Sancho Lyttle added 16 points for the Dream.
SPARKS 70, SUN 69
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kristi Toliver made a 3-pointer with 9.6 seconds remaining to give Los Angeles Sparks a win.
Nneka Ogwumike stole a Sun inbounds pass and the Sparks got the ball to up top to Toliver, whose first field goal of the game was the winner after the Sun’s Renee Montgomery missed a jumper on the final possession.
Toliver’s basket capped a comeback from four points down with 15 seconds remaining. Candace Parker’s hook shot in the paint got the Sparks to 69-67 before Ogwumike’s steal.
Alana Beard led the Sparks with 18 points and Ogwumike had 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Chiney Ogwumike led the Sun with 23 points and 13 rebounds.
SKY 76, MYSTICS 65
ROSEMONT, Illinois (AP) — Elena Delle Donne scored 21 points, and Sylvia Fowles added 14 points and 11 rebounds as the Sky beat the Mystics.
Jamierra Faulkner added 10 points as the Sky (12-16) won their second straight since Delle Donne returned from Lyme disease. She played 16 minutes after playing 10 in Wednesday’s 87-74 victory over New York.
Chicago moved within a half-game of New York for the fourth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot. Washington maintained a hold on second place in the East.
The Mystics got within six points early in the fourth quarter, but the Sky later had eight straight for a 69-57 lead with 5:33 to play.
Emma Meesseman scored 17 points while Ivory Latta had 12 for Washington (13-15).
STORM 71, STARS 65
SEATTLE (AP) — Crystal Langhorne scored 15 of her 19 points in the second half to help the Storm end a seven-game losing streak with a win over the Stars.
Langhorne scored seven and Sue Bird added five in the final three minutes of the game after the Stars had rallied from an 18-point first-half deficit to take a 59-57 lead. Langhorne also had 10 rebounds.
Camille Little added 15 points and Bird 10 for Seattle (10-20), which moved within 3½ games of the Stars for the fourth and final playoff berth with just four games left.
Kayla McBride scored 17 and Danielle Adams 14 — all in the second half — to lead San Antonio (13-16), which fell a half game behind Los Angeles for third place in the west. The Stars have lost seven of nine but are still three up on Tulsa for the final playoff spot.