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Homecoming for Holdsclaw is winning one

NEW YORK -- Chamique Holdsclaw scored 20 points and her first game as a professional in her hometown was also her first win in the WNBA as the Washington Mystics beat the New York Liberty 83-61 Monday night.

The 6-foot-2 forward was the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA draft after a college career at Tennessee in which she was named an All-America four times and the Lady Vols win three national championships. The New York native was just as impressive in high school, leading Christ the King to four state titles.The Mystics, who went 3-27 last season as an expansion team, lost the first two games this season but took command late in the first half to hand the Liberty their first loss of the season.

The crowd of 12,563 at Madison Square Garden gave Holdsclaw a nice reception when she was introduced and then watched as she and Nikki McCray, who scored 20 of her 24 points in the second half, led Washington to the impressive win.

Holdsclaw, who averaged 12 points and 9.5 rebounds in the first two games, still struggled with her shooting, going 6-for-15, 2-for-8 in the second half.

SHOCK 73, ROCKERS 71: At Cleveland, Carla Porter hit a layup with 1.1 seconds left as visiting Detroit won at Gund Arena.

Korie Hlede and Sandy Brondello led the Shock (1-1) with 15 points each.

Merlakia Jones led Cleveland (0-3) with a career-high 24 points and Suzie McConnell Serio had 15.

McConnell Serio's 3-pointer made it 71-69 at 1:09. Hlede responded with a 17-footer with 49 seconds to play to tie it at 71-71.

After Porter's basket put Detroit ahead 73-71, Nemcova's 3-point shot bounced off the rim.

MONARCHS 74, MERCURY 64: At Phoenix, Yolando Griffith had 13 points and 18 rebounds as the Sacramento Monarchs beat the Mercury for the second time in three days.

Griffith, who played in the ABL the past two seasons, had 31 points when the Monarchs opened at home with a 96-85 win over Phoenix. This time, she struggled with just four points in the first half, but made 3-of-6 shots and scored seven points in the first eight minutes of the second.

During that span, Sacramento, which never trailed, extended a 35-29 halftime lead to a 10-point advantage -- its first double-digit lead.

Kedra Holland-Corn and Ruthie Bolton-Holifield each scored 16 points, and Natasha Byears scored 13 for the Monarchs, who had lost their first eight meetings with Phoenix before winning the last two.