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Augustus returns from injury, electrifies Lynx in victory

Two of the leagues top three teams faced off tonight with the Minnesota Lynx hosting the New York Liberty. The Lynx have been without starting guard Seimone Augustus for the past few games. Her returned was beneficial to Minnesota, as she led the team in scoring and rebounding. Tina Charles still was able to pull down a double-double for the Liberty, however it wouldn't be near enough.

David Sherman/Getty Images

Minneapolis, MN -- An impressive crowd gathered at Target Center to watch the second-ranked Minnesota Lynx face off the third-ranked New York Liberty. The Lynx were able to put an end to the Liberty's four-game streak, winning 88-70.

This was the third and final time the teams met this regular season, with the Lynx taking the season series with a 2-1 finish over the Liberty.

The Lynx began the game with extreme aggression on the glass.

"There's a lot of motivation in a sense that there's tiebreakers with...the new playoff system," said Lynx guard, Renee Montgomery. "Each game is one step closer to ending on a good note."

Seimone Augustus entered the game after spending the past three games on the bench nursing a knee injury. She scored a solid 11 points in the first half, nine of which came in the second quarter.

Maya Moore of the Lynx, also contributed eight points in the first half for Minnesota to lead New York, 43-36, at intermission.

Although the Liberty's roster is home to the league's leading scorer and leading three-point shooter, the team could not stand up to the Lynx, who forced eight turnovers in the first half.

The basketball must have been covered in oil for New York, because they just could not hang on to the ball. The team struggled to catch rebounds, and turnovers in the double digits, kept the Liberty out of leading position.

"We only had 15 [turnovers], but the disparity," commented Liberty Head Coach, Bill Laimbeer. "We didn't create turnovers on their end, so we have to keep the turnover margin lower."

The second half began with Minnesota continuing their tenacious play, pushing the team to lead by 14 points by the end of the third quarter.

Janel McCarville was on fire for the Lynx, shooting 5-for-7 and scoring eight points throughout the first three-quarters.

Moore added 18 points to Augustus' 20 to push the team even further into the lead throughout the game for the Lynx.

"We came in with the right focus, the right energy, we were playing with flow," said Moore. "Our coaching staff did an excellent job this week preparing us...mentally for this game, and we just had to bring the energy."

The Liberty struggled to get rebounds and could not regain their momentum in the third quarter, finishing the quarter with a 14-point deficit, 54-68.

And the fourth was much of the same, as the Lynx started off the period with a strong, seven-point unanswered run. Frustration continued for the Liberty, but Brittany Boyd, Carolyn Swords and Tanisha Wright, played with aggression and heart to keep the team competitive.

In the end, the Liberty's efforts fell short to the quick passes and aggressive defense of the Minnesota Lynx.

The Lynx hope to keep their momentum going, as they take on the Dallas Wings Sunday on the road.