Tari Phillips scored 10 of her 12 points in the final seven minutes and the New York Liberty held on to beat the Sting, 63-53, before 3,098 in Charlotte last night.

Vickie Johnson added 15 points and Shameka Christon had 11 for the Liberty (4-1), which won its fourth straight game and held on to first place in the Eastern Conference.

Charlotte Smith-Taylor had a career-high 18 points for the Sting (2-2), which was looking for its third straight win. Tammy Sutton-Brown added 11 points and eight rebounds.

The Sting cut a 13-point second-half deficit to 43-39 on a jumper by Tynesha Lewis with 7 minutes 47 seconds to go. Phillips responded with a driving basket, a turnaround jumper, a layup and two free throws after an offensive rebound in an 8-3 run.

* MERCURY 73, COMETS 63: Penny Taylor, Anna DeForge and reserve Shereka Wright scored 16 points apiece and host Phoenix set a franchise record with 11 three-pointers.

The Mercury (3-1), which had the worst record in the WNBA last year and profited by drafting Diana Taurasi No. 1, moved into first in the Western Conference with its third straight win. Taurasi had 13 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds.

* FEVER 79, SILVER STARS 60: Tamika Catchings scored 20 points and Natalie Williams added 17 to lead visiting Indiana.

Kelly Miller scored 14 for the Fever, which snapped a two-game losing streak.

With Catchings leading the way with nine rebounds, Indiana outrebounded San Antonio 36-17.