Paced by star Sylvia Fowles, the Minnesota Lynx continue to surge.
Meanwhile, the New York Liberty must find a way to end their longest slide of the season.
Fowles and the Lynx can post a third straight win by handing the visiting Liberty a fifth consecutive defeat on Tuesday night.
Sitting fourth in the WNBA standings, Minnesota (15-9) has won 10 of its last 12. The Lynx return to the floor for the first time since a 76-70 win over Seattle last Tuesday.
Fowles, averaging team highs of 16.6 points and 10.0 rebounds, finished with 29 points, 20 boards, four steals and three blocks to become the first player in league history record at least 20 points, 20 rebounds, three steals and three blocks in a contest.
The 14-year veteran is averaging 19.2 points and 10.6 rebounds over the last five games.
“She never ceases to amaze me,” teammate Napheesa Collier told the Star Tribune. “She breaks records every time we have a game.”
Fowles has totaled 46 points and 22 rebounds for Minnesota in its two previous games with New York (11-16) this season, losing the first but winning their most recent matchup earlier in August. The Lynx shot 48.5 percent and used a 24-point fourth quarter to beat the Liberty 88-78 at home on Aug. 15.
That defeat is part of a dismal 1-7 stretch for New York, which currently holds the league’s final playoff spot but has lost its last four games by an average margin of 15.5 points. Following a 106-79 home loss to Phoenix on Wednesday, the Liberty fell 80-64 to the Mercury two nights later.
“We haven’t made the game to take the game,” New York coach Walt Hopkins said. “We’re playing scared. We’re running out of time to make the adjustments.”
New York’s Natasha Howard (15.3 points) scored 18 on Friday, and she had 30 points at Minnesota earlier this month. Teammate Sabrina Ionescu (10.5 points, 6.0 assists) recorded her first WNBA triple-double with 26 points, 12 assists and 10 boards during an 86-75 home victory over the Lynx on May 18.
–Field Level Media