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posted: 9/10/2012 12:01 AM

Sky loses lead, falls to Sun 82-77

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Associated Press

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- The Connecticut Sun needed to mix things up Sunday to get a needed home win.

Tina Charles scored 24 points to rally first-place Connecticut to an 82-77 victory over the Chicago Sky. Renee Montgomery had 12 points, Tan White added 11 and Kelsey Griffin 10 for Sun (21-8), which trailed by 14 late in the second quarter.

Charles shot 11 of 15 from the field to help Connecticut win for the sixth time in its last nine games. The Sun snapped a two-game skid at home and improved to 10-5 at Mohegan Sun Arena, one year after going 15-2 here.

Swin Cash had 21 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Sky (11-17), Courtney Vandersloot scored 15 points, and Epiphanny Prince added 14.

Chicago, playing without Olympic center Sylvia Fowles (calf strain), dropped a half-game behind New York for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with six games remaining. The Liberty beat Los Angeles 73-71.

"We just have to go into every game like we just have to win, it is what is," Cash said. "It is going to be a fight to the end and it is tough to swallow games like this because we were right there, so close, but we have to work through it. Nobody else is going to come bail us out."

Charles' jumper with 8:07 remaining tied the score at 60-60, and Montgomery and McCray hit 3-pointers 42 seconds apart to put the Sun up by 6 two minutes later. Connecticut didn't trail again.

Prince had a jumper and Cash made a layup to pull the Sky to 75-72 with just less than a minute to go, but that was as close as they got.

The Sky led 44-37 at halftime.

"We didn't do the things that we did in the first quarter," Sky coach Pokey Chatman said, "and you have to sustain things against the best team in the East."

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