Stars-Liberty Preview

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The surging New York Liberty will return to their home court to face the struggling San Antonio Stars on Sunday at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

After going 4-4 to start the season, New York (14-6) has won two in a row, four of its last five and 10 of 11. The Liberty have climbed to the top of the WNBA's Eastern Conference standings and lead second-place Atlanta by 3 1/2 games.

San Antonio (5-14) has lost two of its last three games and seven of its last 10. The Stars are last in the Western Conference, 12 1/2 games behind first-place Los Angeles.

The Liberty are coming off an 88-85 road win over the Chicago Sky. The victory made coach Bill Laimbeer the seventh coach in WNBA history with 200 wins. Tina Charles put up 29 points and nine rebounds, Sugar Rodgers added 21 points and Tanisha Wright made a late go-ahead jumper for New York.

The Liberty shot just 39.7 percent from the field while allowing Chicago to shoot 44.6 percent, but the Liberty amassed a huge 44-30 rebounding advantage, went to the free-throw line 23 times and converted on 20 free-throw attempts.

San Antonio is coming off a 78-68 loss to the Seattle Storm. Moriah Jefferson scored 16 points. Haley Peters had 15. Monique Currie and Kayla Alexander added 10 points apiece.

The Stars were without leading scorer Kayla McBride. San Antonio announced Wednesday that McBride will miss the rest of the season with a right foot fracture, a devastating blow to a team that was already having trouble competing. McBride was eighth in the WNBA in scoring at 17.1 points per game.

Charles leads the WNBA in scoring and ranks second in rebounds, averaging 22.8 points and 9.6 rebounds. Teammate Kiah Stokes is fifth in rebounding at 8.4 rebounds per game.