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Rodgers scores career-high 23 points to send Liberty past Sparks and Toliver, 79-70


NEW YORK — Sugar Rodgers scored a career-high 23 points and the New York Liberty snapped a two-game home losing streak with a 79-70 victory over the winless Los Angeles Sparks on Sunday.

Tina Charles added 16 points and Tanisha Wright 12 to help the Liberty (5-4) overcome a career-high 30 points from the Sparks' Kristi Toliver, making her WNBA season debut after returning from EuroBasket.

Jantel Lavender added 14 points, and Nneka Ogwumike had 13 points and a season-high 16 rebounds for her first double-double this season for Los Angeles (0-7), down to eight players after Andrea Hoover injured her left foot in a game Friday night.

The Liberty never trailed in the final quarter though the Sparks tied it three times, the last with 6:15 to go. A 9-1 run, capped by Kiah Stokes' layup off an inside pass from Wright, left the Liberty up 72-64 with 2:31 left. The Sparks got within four, but a 6-0 spurt, including four points from Rodgers, clinched the victory.

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