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New York Liberty earn OT win behind 34 from Nurse (Highlights)

Kia Nurse set an early career-high with 34, while Tina Charles’ overtime heroics guided the New York Liberty to their first road win of the season.

It was deja vu all over again for the New York Liberty on Saturday night, and in the last way they wanted to see it.

Four days after they earned their first win of the 2018 WNBA season, by making up a 17-point deficit against the Dallas Wings, the Libs almost became victims of a double-digit comeback themselves.

Tina Charles, however, lifted the Liberty when they needed her most.

Charles earned another double-double, with 23 points and 10 rebounds on Saturday. 12 of those 23 came in the fourth quarter and overtime, while rookie Kia Nurse came off the bench to score 34. The Liberty would earn an 87-81 win against the Indiana Fever, grabbing their first road win of the season.

Going up against the winless Fever, the Liberty (2-2) took over midway through the first quarter, embarking on an 18-0 run. New York led by as much as 20, but the Fever roared back, anchored by a rookie of their own, as Kelsey Mitchell had 26. Thanks to clutch defense and rebounding by Charles, the Liberty were able to escape BankersLife Fieldhouse with an even record, earning back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

Three Stars

3rd Star: G Shavonte Zellous

Zellous was the hero of Tuesday night, hitting the de facto game-winner to beat Dallas. To follow that up, Zellous helped the Liberty jump ahead, earning three “and-one” opportunities to build the New York lead. She ended the evening with 17 points, to put her former Indiana comrades into a deep early hole.

2nd Star: G Kia Nurse

Nurse, the 10th overall pick of the most recent WNBA Draft, went head-to-head with the second selection in the same proceedings in Mitchell, and emerged victorious. She helped nurse (pun very much intended) the early New York lead, hitting her first four shots and creating opportunities all over the court.

While Nurse still went through some rookie growing pains, tied for the team-lead with four turnovers, her 34 points are the highest single-season tally for any WNBA rookie so far this season.

1st Star: C Tina Charles

Saturday could’ve been the makings of a win that completely went against the Liberty formula. Charles was mostly held in check, limited to six points and four rebounds in the first half, while watching Nurse and Zellous handle most of the offensive duties. But when the Fever edged back into the game, Charles made sure the bottom didn’t completely fall out.

She denied the Fever second chances, and came up with clutch points that provided the margin, including the jumper that put the Liberty ahead for good. Charles also sank a pair from the charity stripe at the end of regulation to force an extra period.

What Decided It

In the dying stages of overtime, Charles sank a jumper that gave her New Yorkers an 81-79 lead. On the other side, Charles finished things off by grabbing the rebound off a Mitchell miss, sealing the fate of the Fever (0-6). The Liberty had control for the remainder of the game and escaped Indianapolis victorious.

The Liberty’s four games have been decided by a combined 21 points.

What’s Next

The Liberty will play the first of two Madison Square Garden games on Tuesday morning, welcoming in the Phoenix Mercury (11:00 AM, MSG+).

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