Pondexter leads Liberty to 107-69 win over MercuryAug 15, 2010 - 5:06 AM By ZINA KUMOK AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- It was a game of records.
The New York Liberty reached a franchise-high eight-game winning streak and set a team-record for points in a game.
Cappie Pondexter had 28 points, five assists and two steals and the New York Liberty clinched a playoff spot with a 107-69 victory against the Phoenix Mercury on Saturday night.
Nicole Powell had a career-high seven three-pointers and 23 points for New York.
The exuberant Powell said "it was nice to kind of be a part of a team that sets the record."
It was Kia Vaughn who put the Liberty over the 105-point mark with 2:04 left in the fourth.
The Liberty are 12-2 since the All-Star break and currently have the best winning streak in the league.
"It's just been great basketball the second half of this season," Pondexter said.
Liberty coach Anne Donovan said her team remembered their 97-82 loss to Phoenix on July 3.
"We had a lot of motivation against Phoenix," she said.
Both teams were playing the second of back-to-back games, but it was the Mercury who showed signs of fatigue.
New York is only one game behind Indiana in the Eastern Conference standings, and they face the Fever on Tuesday at home. They are 2-1 against the Fever, the win coming Aug. 3 with a 82-72 win on the road. They have not lost since July 25 against the Atlanta Dream.
Donovan said the team's goal was to make the playoffs. They only have four more regular season games before the first round of the playoffs start Aug. 25.
"And now we're going to set new goals for ourselves for the postseason," she said.
This was the Mercury's fourth loss in a row, but they remain in second in the Western Conference standings. The Seattle Storm hold the top spot in the Western Conference.
Penny Taylor did not play for Phoenix because of a sprained right ankle. DeWanna Bonner started in her place and led the team with 18 points. Diana Taurasi had a season-low five points.
Pondexter had the task of guarding Taurasi, who is leading the league in scoring.
"I just wanted to make it tough for her and be aggressive," Pondexter said.
The Mercury only scored eight points in the fourth quarter and shot 32.8 percent for the game.
FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
PHOENIX 25 17 19 8 69
NEW YORK 33 28 26 20 107 FINAL
HIGH SCORERS: PHO - DEWANNA BONNER 20, TEMEKA JOHNSON 14,
KARA BRAXTON 11
NYL - CAPPIE PONDEXTER 28, NICOLE POWELL 23,
TAJ MCWILLIAMS-FRANKLIN 13
Aug 14 9:31 PM
NEW YORK 33 END, 1ST QTR
Aug 14 7:57 PM
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