Charles' double-double leads Sun past MysticsAug 9, 2010 - 12:19 AM UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) -- Tina Charles had 17 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocks, setting a rookie record with her 18th double-double, and the Connecticut Sun preserved their playoff hopes with a 76-67 win over the Washington Mystics on Sunday.
Asjha Jones also had 17 points and Sandrine Gruda added 12 as the Sun (14-14) pulled two games behind Washington (16-12) for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Connecticut also clinched the season series, giving the Sun a potential playoff tiebreaker.
Charles broke the rookie mark previously held by Yolanda Griffith (1999) and Candace Parker (2008), and is one double-double short of the league record set by Natalie Williams in 2000.
"It feels good, but that's something that I'll probably focus on after my career is said and done," Charles said. "(It's) nothing I'm worried about right now with the position that we're in. We have to make it to the playoffs, so that's what I'm worried about."
Crystal Langhorne led the Mystics with 14 points, Lindsey Harding scored 12 and Monique Currie added 10.
Connecticut used a 24-4 run in the second half to turn a five-point deficit in a 15-point lead.
"This kept us alive for another day," Connecticut guard Kara Lawson said.
The Sun trailed 48-43 in the third quarter before closing the period on an 11-2 run to take a 54-50 lead on Tan White's 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Connecticut then began the fourth period with a 13-2 run over the first 6:10.
"They are fighting for their lives, as is everyone in the East," Washington coach Julie Plank said. "It definitely showed. But we will be ready. We know we are very capable of beating them. Give them credit. They played well with a sense of urgency."
The Mystics host the Sun on Tuesday in the teams' final regular season meeting.
Harding made a scoop shot in the lane with 2.6 seconds left in the first half to give the Mystics a 37-34 lead at halftime.
Washington led by as many as nine in the first half.
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