May 17, 2014

The New York Liberty have a little revenge on their mind.

The Liberty will put their five-game win streak on the line Friday night when they play host to the Chicago Sky at Madison Square Garden.

This will be the first of three meetings during the regular season between the first-place Liberty (9-4) and the fourth-place Sky (6-7).

But it's a preseason game that still stings a bit for the Liberty. In that game on May 1, Elena Delle Donne scored 17 points and Jessica Breland added 10 as the Sky crushed the short-handed Liberty 93-59.

Without Tina Charles or Swin Cash, Liberty starters combined to go 8 of 33 from the field in that game. Adut Bulgak came off the bench to score 17 points to lead the Liberty. Sugar Rodgers (10) was the only other New York player to score in double figures.

New York has rebounded nicely to start the WNBA season and leads the Eastern Conference by one game over the Atlanta Dream. The Liberty went to Atlanta and beat the Dream 90-79 in double overtime on Wednesday at Philips Arena.

The Liberty scored the first nine points of the second overtime and never looked back.

Charles narrowly missed a triple-double, finishing with 23 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds for her ninth double-double of the season. Six Liberty players compiled double-digit points, including guard Shavonte Zellous, who scored 14 off the bench.

Cash had a season-high 13 points, 11 in the first half.

Charles missed a shot that would have won it in the first overtime for the Liberty. She shook off the miss and took the blame for not ending the game then and there.

"I messed up a little bit ... But I was just happy we were able to knock down shots, get rebounds, get stops," Charles told reporters.

Charles leads the league in scoring, averaging 22.1 points per game. She also tops the league in rebounds per game at 9.8 rebounds per game.

The Sky, which is 3-5 on the road, hope to continue their winning ways after defeating the San Antonio Stars 81-75 on Tuesday to end a three-game losing streak.

Delle Donne scored 23 points, Cappie Pondexter added 15 points and Imani Boyette and Jamierra Faulkner chipped in with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

On Tuesday, the WNBA, which is celebrating its 20th season, announced the league's 20 greatest and most influential players. Pondexter was among those honored.

"This means a great deal to me," the 11-year veteran said after receiving 20 red roses from the Sky before tipoff against San Antonio. "I never imagined coming into the WNBA that I would be a part of history. It's overwhelming because I'm amongst people (Ticha Penicheiro, Lisa Leslie, Tina Thompson, Sheryl Swoopes, Cynthia Cooper) that I grew up looking up to."

Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.

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