NEWARK, N.J. -- Cappie Pondexter scored 18 of her 20 points in the second half, Katie Smith moved into second place on the WNBA's career scoring list and the New York Liberty rallied to beat the Connecticut Sun 78-68 on Friday night.
New York (4-2) trailed 47-36 midway through the third before Pondexter scored eight points in the final 4:50 of the period, including a jumper just before the end of the quarter that gave New York a 56-55 lead -- its first since early in the game. She had 14 points in the third and then kept it going in the fourth, scoring four of the Liberty's first nine points as New York extended its lead to 11.
Allison Hightower scored 17 points and Kara Lawson added 16 for the Sun (2-4), who pulled to 72-68 with 1:20 left but could get no closer.
Smith passed Lisa Leslie for second place on the league's career scoring list with a 3-pointer midway through the first quarter. She finished the game with 10 points, giving her 6,272 in her WNBA career -- nine more than Leslie. She's still nearly 800 points behind all-time leader Tina Thompson, who has announced she plans to retire at the end of this season.
MERCURY 97, SPARKS 81
PHOENIX -- Diana Taurasi scored 34 points, DeWanna Bonner had 23 points and 12 rebounds, and Phoenix pulled away in the second half to beat Los Angeles.
Coming off its first win of the season, Phoenix (2-3) raced past the Sparks in the second half without forward Candice Dupree (suspension) or much help from rookie center Brittney Griner.
Charde Houston had 15 points and Griner finished with 10 points and four blocked shots in 15 minutes after missing the previous game with a sprained left knee.
Kristi Toliver scored 18 points, Candace Parker added 15 and Nneke Ogwumike had 13 points and 10 rebounds for Los Angeles (2-2), which played without Alana Beard because of a sore hamstring.
LYNX 83, SHOCK 74
TULSA, Okla. -- Rebekkah Brunson scored 19 points and Lindsay Whalen added 17 to help Minnesota overcome a poor performance by Maya Moore in a win over Tulsa.
Moore, who came in leading the WNBA with 22.3 points per game, was held to just 10 on 4-of-12 shooting. Seimone Augustus had 11 points for Minnesota, which improved to 4-1.
Glory Johnson led the Shock (1-6) with 22 points and nine rebounds, while Candace Wiggins scored 18 and played shutdown defense on Moore. Riquna Williams scored 16 points for Tulsa.
The Lynx took a 39-35 lead at the break and pushed it to 66-53 heading into the fourth quarter before holding off a late rally.
DREAM 68, STORM 59
ATLANTA -- Angel McCoughtry scored 23 points and Jasmine Thomas added 13 to help lead Atlanta over Seattle.
McCoughtry, last season's leading scorer in the WNBA, also had team highs with nine rebounds, seven assists and five steals to help as the Dream improve to 5-1.
Tina Thompson and Temeka Johnson scored 11 points apiece for Seattle, which dropped to 1-3.
Seattle, the league's lowest-scoring team, managed just four points in the third quarter -- coming on two baskets by Johnson -- and trailed by 16 before an 11-1 run pulled them to 58-52 on Camille Little's layup midway through the fourth. But that was as close as the Storm would get.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press
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