Two days after their self-proclaimed “best practice of the year” the Lynx put up one of their worst performances of the season. Minnesota’s problematic offense doomed them yet again, this time on the road in New York.
They got off to a terrible start, falling behind 10-19 after one quarter. Minnesota’s offense was stagnant. New York turned rebounds and steals into easy transition points. Number two overall pick Asia Durr scored a career high 20 points for the Liberty, 14 of which came in the first half. She burned the Lynx on fast breaks and continually snuck into the lane for easy finishes.
The Minnesota offense in the first half lacked verve and creativity. Slowly bringing the ball up the floor and settling for a tough shot was a common occurrence in this half. Nothing was coming easy against an average New York defense. Their best chances at scoring came in the form of Sylvia Fowles offensive rebounds. They missed their first eleven three point attempts. Obviously Minnesota misses Maya Moore and to a lesser extent Seimone Augustus, but their absences are felt most in half court offense. They don’t currently have a player in their starting lineup who can get their own shot when the clock is ticking down. Their offense is easily short-circuited. Luckily for the Lynx they were only down ten at the half.
Unluckily for the Lynx, Liberty guard Kia Nurse caught fire in the second half scoring 18 of her game-high 26 points in the second half. She hit two daggers as the Lynx were mounting a fourth quarter comeback. It’s almost as if Nurse took the scoring baton from Durr. Nurse scored from all over the floor, raining threes and getting into the paint for buckets. Also, she played all 40 minutes! Minnesota’s offense did eventually get into a groove and find some space to operate in the second half. The long-ball started falling to the tune of seven second half triples. Damiris Dantas hit three herself as the Brazilian continues to impress from range this season.
Even after falling behind at one point by 15, the Lynx had opportunities to steal this game in the second half. Stephanie Talbot had her best game in a Lynx uniform hitting two threes. Danielle Robinson was fantastic on both ends again. Despite her shooting limitations, she was a plus player on offense. The comeback would eventually fall short late in the fourth quarter due to a couple big Nurse shots and a few extra Lynx turnovers.
Shooting percentage-wise, Minnesota had their worst (29.3%) and best (55.6%) halves of the season in this game. Ultimately the Lynx dug themselves a hole too deep. Not even their most efficient offensive half of the season could save them.
Karima Christmas-Kelly seemed to re-injure her right knee late in the third quarter fighting for a loose ball. She’s had a very slow start to this season and she might be about to miss more time.
The New York Liberty play in White Plains, NY at a venue called the Westchester County Center. It is a blight on the respectability of the WNBA and one of its original franchises. Official attendance: 1,181.
The Liberty starting lineup scored every single New York point Wednesday night.
Seimone Augustus picked up a technical foul from the bench. You tell ‘em Mone!
The Lynx return home to find the best team in the WNBA waiting for them. The Connecticut Sun will visit Target Center for the first time on Friday. Jonquel Jones is one of the most incredible players in the league. She’s won player of the week in back-to-back weeks now.
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