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Lynx rally late to defeat Liberty

New York wasn't able to hang on to a 71-63 lead in the final eight minutes, enduring a four-minute scoring drought that helped launch Minnesota's comeback

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MINNEAPOLIS — Aerial Powers scored 18 points and the Minnesota Lynx rallied from an eight-point, fourth-quarter deficit to stop the New York Liberty 84-78 in Minneapolis on Tuesday night.

Powers made just 3 of 13 shots, but the final one was a 13-footer with 1:03 left that gave Minnesota (2-6) an 80-77 lead. Kayla McBride, who added 15 points, converted four free throws in the final 15.9 seconds to seal the outcome.

Sylvia Fowles contributed 14 points and 14 rebounds, while Moriah Jefferson finished with 12 points. The Lynx canned just 37.1 percent of their field goal tries, but they were 27 of 33 at the foul line. Powers and McBride combined to make 19 of 22 free throws.

Natasha Howard scored a game-high 23 points for New York (1-5) and Rebecca Allen added 21. Han Xu came off the bench to tally 11 and Sabrina Ionescu chipped in 10 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

The Liberty weren't able to hang on to a 71-63 lead in the final eight minutes, enduring a four-minute scoring drought that helped launch Minnesota's comeback. They also made just 9 of 32 3-pointers and lost the rebounding battle 45-39.

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New York's second-leading scorer, Betnijah Laney, sat out with a knee injury.

In a matchup of struggling teams looking for something positive to happen, Minnesota came out smoking in the first quarter. It scored on seven of its first eight possessions and rolled up a 34-23 lead.

But the Lynx experienced a predictable regression to the mean that allowed New York to whittle a 12-point deficit down to one possession. Howard's putback capped a 17-point half and brought the Liberty within 45-42 at the break.

After Minnesota boosted its lead to 56-48 midway through the third quarter, on Kayla McBride's 3-pointer, New York rattled off a 10-2 run to even the score. Then it grabbed its first lead on Allen's 3-pointer at the 1:45 mark and took a 65-63 edge to the fourth period.

MORE MINNESOTA LYNX COVERAGE:
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Kayla McBride and Jessica Shepard each scored 15 points for Minnesota, which also got 12 from Sylvia Fowles, 11 from Moriah Jefferson and 10 points from Natalie Achonwa.
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Minnesota's 32-16 advantage in points off the bench proved key in countering Skylar Diggins-Smith's game-high 25 points
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Leading 93-91 with 16 seconds to play, forward Dearica Hamby knocked down a corner 3-pointer for the Aces (13-2) to stave off a pesky effort from Minnesota (3-13)
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Minnesota (3-12) gave itself a chance to snap its three-game losing skid with stifling defense down the stretch, holding Seattle to just five points for the final 5:07 of action
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The Lynx (3-9) had beaten the Liberty 84-78 on May 24 at Target Center and 84-77 this past Sunday in Brooklyn despite 31 points from Ionescu.
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Minnesota (2-7) had a chance to force overtime, but Kayla McBride couldn't connect on a pullup jumper from the left wing in the last three seconds
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That was the primary focus of Monday’s practice — a needed day of work to shore up what Reeve identified as slippage on the defensive end
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All five Lynx starters scored in double figures, led by 14 points each from Jessica Shepard, Sylvia Fowles and Kayla McBride. Aerial Powers and Moriah Jefferson added 12 each for Minnesota.
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McBride won a Turkish League title overseas over the weekend, and flew straight from Europe to Los Angeles on Monday to meet up with the Lynx in time for their contest Tuesday against the Sparks. She finished with 24 points.
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Lynx finally get first win behind game-high 24 points from McBride

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