ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Shannon Johnson scored 14 points and Wendy Palmer added 12 as the Orlando Miracle closed out the WNBA season Tuesday night with a 70-63 victory over the New York Liberty.
Despite the win, Orlando was eliminated from the playoff race when Indiana won at Cleveland. That appears to be a good thing for the top-seeded Liberty, who were beaten in all three meetings with the Miracle this season.
New York meets Indiana in the first round.
The Liberty lost for the fourth time in five games but started strong by bolting to a 9-2 lead. Orlando quickly recovered and grabbed a 17-16 advantage on a basket by Johnson with just over eight minutes left. Johnson capped an 11-2 spurt with a basket for a 33-22 cushion with 2:34 left before halftime.
Former Miracle Tari Phillips made two free throws to pull New York into a 39-39 tie with 18:27 remaining. Orlando scored the next 10 points, capped by Nykesha Sales' three-point play with 14:22 remaining. New York never got closer than the final margin.
Phillips collected 20 points and 10 rebounds and Tamika Whitmore also scored 20 for the Liberty. New York heavily played its bench in the second half once the game became meaningless for Orlando.