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Tina Charles’ 24 points lead Liberty over Mystics

Natasha Cloud #15 of the Washington Mystics shoots

Natasha Cloud #15 of the Washington Mystics shoots the ball against the New York Liberty on May 14, 2016 at Verizon Center in Washington. Credit: NBAE/Getty Images / Ned Dishman

Tina Charles scored 24 points, including a three-point play that sparked a late run, to help the Liberty beat the Washington Mystics, 87-76, on Saturday night in the season opener for both teams.

Charles, a former league MVP who finished third in the voting last year, led the Liberty with 11 rebounds.

With 2:39 left and the game tied at 73, Charles started the spurt with a basket and free throw. Kiah Stokes added a basket and the Liberty had three free throws to make it 81-73. Stefanie Dolson finally ended the drought, hitting a free throw with 27 seconds remaining. The Liberty hit their free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

Sugar Rodgers added 19 points for the Liberty, which was fourth in the inaugural Associated Press power poll this week.

Tayler Hill scored 20 points and Bria Hartley added 17 for the Mystics, who opened the season at No. 6 in the poll.

Washington made eight of its first 12 shots and led by as many as nine in the first quarter, however they missed 39 of their final 55 shots.

New York Sports