Jones and Stewart help New York top Minnesota as Liberty play stellar defense in the 4th quarter

NEW YORK (AP) — Jonquel Jones had 21 points and 12 rebounds, and New York used stellar defense in the fourth quarter to beat the Minnesota Lynx 76-67 on Tuesday night.

Breanna Stewart added 17 points and 17 rebounds for the Liberty in a rematch of the Commissioner’s Cup championship game that was won by the Lynx a week ago.

New York (17-3) trailed 65-61 before clamping down defensively. Minnesota missed 10 shots and had four turnovers over the next 7 1/2 minutes and the Liberty scored 15 consecutive points to go up 74-65 with 1:07 left on two free throws by Sabrina Ionescu.

Dorka Juhasz finally ended the drought with a layup with 30 seconds left, but it wasn’t enough.

“That was great team defense, everyone was locked in,” said Jones, who was named to the WNBA All-Star team after the game.

Kayla McBride scored 17 points for the Lynx (14-5), and Napheesa Collier had 15.

“Hold a really good team to 37% (shooting) on the road, we did what we could to give ourselves a chance to win this game,” Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve said.

The game was tied at the half and Minnesota went up seven in the third quarter before New York closed to 59-58 at the end of the period. Down three, Stewart had a nifty block on Courtney Williams’ reverse layup and then hit a floater in the lane in the final minute.

Jones, who was held without a field goal and had just three points in the Commissioner’s Cup loss, surpassed that total early in the first quarter. She finished the half with 13 points and six rebounds as the game was tied at 42. McBride, who also was named an All-Star after the game, had 13 points and Collier 10 for the Lynx.

“She imposed her will a little bit. (Offensive) boards, hit a couple 3’s, I thought, timely 3’s,” McBride said of Jones.

Ionescu missed shootaround because she wasn’t feeling well. Ionescu, who was also ill in the team’s last game against Atlanta on Sunday, went through warmups and was in her normal spot in the starting lineup. She finished with 17 points.

“She could’ve stayed home, but she understood the importance of this game,” Jones said. “It’s a blessing to have a teammate like her.”


Lynx: Host Connecticut on Thursday.

Liberty: At Indiana on Saturday.



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