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Liberty look to topple Lynx, extend winning trend

Jun 1, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu (20) celebrate after the Indiana Fever call timeout in the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

That light at the end of the tunnel for the New York Liberty might not be the express train after all.

New York (3-7) had lost seven in a row before recording its first winning streak of the season following victories over the Indiana Fever and Washington Mystics.

The Liberty try to make it three straight wins on Sunday afternoon when they host the Minnesota Lynx in the first contest of a two-game series.

New York posted an 87-74 win over Indiana at home Wednesday night. The follow-up game against the Mystics was much more impressive, as Sabrina Ionescu sank five 3-pointers and scored a game-high 24 points.

While the Liberty made only 36.5 percent of their shots from the field, they did drain 11 3-pointers and also took care of the ball. They finished with a season-low 12 turnovers.

That gives them two straight wins without 2021 WNBA All-Star Betnijah Laney, who underwent knee surgery on Wednesday and will probably miss two months. Without Laney, Ionescu (team-best 14.8 points per game) and Natasha Howard (13.8) likely will have to shoulder more of the scoring load.

Meanwhile, Minnesota (2-8) is unlikely to have much sympathy for New York. Minus point guard Moriah Jefferson (left quad strain), who’s out indefinitely, the Lynx had 26 turnovers in an 84-76 loss at Atlanta on Wednesday.

“Our margin for error is not great,” Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve said. “We just got to hang in there and it will turn for us.”

Turnovers and poor defense are affecting Minnesota this season. Seven players committed multiple turnovers on Wednesday, and the Lynx saw the Dream to make 12 3-pointers.

Minnesota received a 16-point, 20-rebound effort from center Sylvia Fowles. In her last year in the league, Fowles is still just as consistent as ever, averaging 17.0 points and 10.9 rebounds per game.

–Field Level Media