— WNBA (@WNBA) June 17, 2018
With a no-show in Minnesota, the New York Liberty have now endured back-to-back one-sided losses, as well as defeats in four of their past five games.
Recent New York Liberty games have not been as heart-attack-inducing as the games to open the season. However, the Liberty have been on the wrong side of these games, and it’s suddenly starting to get late early.
Sylvia Fowles scored 25 points and Maya Moore added 20 more, and the Minnesota Lynx coasted to an 85-71 victory over the Liberty at Target Center on Saturday night. It’s the second time the Liberty have fallen to the Lynx this month, following an 80-74 loss on June 5.
The Liberty (3-6) are now at a bit of a crossroads in the 2018 season, having lost four of their past five games. The loss also pushed the Liberty out of the WNBA’s last playoff spot for the time being, passed over by the defending champion Lynx.
3rd Star: Sugar Rodgers
In the midst of another tough loss, Rodgers, whose status for the game was in doubt thanks to an eye injury, managed to come off the bench and make some history. With a second-quarter three-pointer, Rodgers passed Vickie Johnson for sixth all-time in team history (222). It was her only basket of the game, but she also added a team-high four rebounds.
2nd Star: Rebecca Allen
With several players returning from injury, Allen hasn’t seen the court as often in a stretch that featured consecutive DNP-Coach’s Decisions. Her strong prescience late in the game was a rare bright spot for the Liberty, as she tallied a season-high nine points and added two rebounds and a block in just under 12 minutes.
1st Star: Bria Hartley
It was a struggling starting lineup for the Liberty on Saturday, as even superstar Tina Charles was limited to season-low 12 points (though that still led the team). Hartley did all she could to keep pace with the angry Lynx, putting in nine points and six assists, the latter of which led the team.
How It Was Decided
— WNBA (@WNBA) June 17, 2018
The game got out of the Liberty’s grasp fairly quickly, trailing 28-16 at the end of the first quarter. The lead was an innocuous 10-9 midway through the period, but an 18-7 run to close the session out. The early dagger came with Minnesota’s final points of the quarter.
The Liberty trailed only 24-16, but were done in by not one, but two buzzer beaters. Alexis Jones first beat the shot clock to create a double-digit lead, just before Cecilia Zandalasini, intercepted the inbound pass and sank a quick jumper to end the quarter, part of a career-high 13-point night.
The Liberty, who will get one more chance to beat the Lynx (4-6) on July 24, never got it back to single digits.
The Liberty briefly return to Westchester County Center before embarking on a west coast road trip to Las Vegas and Los Angeles, taking on the Atlanta Dream on Tuesday night (7:00 p.m. ET, MSG+).