By Arnie Leshin
The second-seeded New York Liberty claimed its initial playoff berth in the Women’s National Basketball Association by turning back 7th-seeded Washington, 90-85, in overtime of the best two-of-three series Tuesday, and next takes on the 3rd-seeded Connecticut Sun in the best three-of-five semifinals.
New York is home at Madison Square Garden for the first two games, then plays a pair in Washington, and if necessary, will play a deciding game five back in New York. Connecticut took two-of-three from No. 6 Minnesota.
In the other semi, it will be the No. 1-seeded Las Vegas Stars after turning back the No. 8 Chicago Sky twice, 82-59 and 92-70, going against fourth-seeded Dallas, which twice downed No. 5 Atlanta, 94-82 and 101-74.
Vegas will play games ones and two at home, head for a pair in Dallas, and then, if necessary, a deciding game goes back to the Stars.
The finals will also be a best-of-five format, with the winners playing in matchups pertaining to their current won-lost records. Thus, if New York or Las Vegas should be eliminated, the finals will be contested regarding present records of the remaining two.