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Tiffany Hayes

Tina Charles Scores 18, Liberty Clinch Eastern Conference

Tina Charles had 18 points and 14 rebounds, Sugar Rodgers hit two free throws with 12.0 seconds left and the New York Liberty clinched the top seed in the East with a 75-71 victory over the Minnesota Lynx in Minnesota on Sunday night.

In a matchup of the WNBA's top teams, the Liberty (22-9) earned the No. 1 spot in the Eastern Conference for the first time since 2002 and tied a season record for wins the franchise set in 2010.

The Liberty also moved 11/2 games ahead of the Lynx (21-11) in the race for home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.

New York took the lead for good during a 20-4 run midway through the third quarter. Minnesota pulled within 69-68 with 5:50...