Liberty outlast Lynx in Commissioner's Cup Championship rematch behind incredible defensive fourth quarter


The New York Liberty found a 76-67 win over the Minnesota Lynx on Tuesday thanks to a strong defensive performance in the fourth quarter. The Liberty are now 17-3, the best start in team history.

This was the second-lowest scoring game of the season for the Lynx, and it happened exactly a week after Minnesota earned the Commissioner’s Cup with a 94-89 win over the Liberty. 

“We had to get our lick back tonight,” Liberty forward Jonquel Jones said. “We had to get our lick back. Just competing really hard, understanding that this is probably a team that we will see in the playoffs. We wanted to establish ourselves against them tonight.”

Jones led New York’s offense with 21 points and completed a double-double with 12 rebounds. Breanna Stewart also had a double-double with 17 points and 17 boards. Meanwhile, Sabrina Ionescu was a game-time decision because of an illness, but she decided to play and contributed 17 points. 

“That’s just Sabrina,” Jones said. “When she steps on the court she is a competitor, she is going to play hard. We know when she suits up she is ready to go.”

It was a tight game that Minnesota could have walked away with, but the Liberty finished the game on a 15-2 run. The Lynx were held scoreless for almost nine minutes and only managed to score eight points in the fourth quarter, marking the third time New York has held a team under double digits in a quarter this season. 

“That was just great team defense. Everybody was locked in,” Jones said. “Everybody was on the string. That’s what we are going to need every night.”

The Liberty have the best record in the WNBA and will have a few days to rest before their fourth meeting of the season against the Indiana Fever this Saturday on CBS. The last time they played the Fever, the Liberty held Indiana rookie Caitlin Clark to just three points, her lowest scoring performance throughout her young WNBA career and even her four years at Iowa. 

Meanwhile, the Lynx dropped to 14-5 overall. They will try to bounce back when they host a tough Connecticut Sun team on Thursday. 

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