Bridget Carleton made a three that took a friendly bounce off the front of the rim to make the score 68-63 Minnesota with 1:11 to play and free throws iced a 74-66 Lynx victory over the New York Liberty that saw Napheesa Collier go for 21 points and 14 rebounds after it was revealed that she has been playing through plantar fasciitis and Kayla McBride drop 25 points with nine boards on Tuesday night at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said Napheesa Collier has been battling plantar fasciitis this season. She's playing through it. the three days off Reeve gave her high-minute players this week should really help Collier.— Kent Youngblood (@BloodStrib) August 30, 2021
The win allowed Minnesota to hang onto fourth place, which would give them a first-round bye if the season ended today, while the Liberty remained in an eighth-place tie with the Washington Mystics, who also lost Tuesday night.
Lynx superstar Sylvia Fowles was added to the injury report on Tuesday afternoon as questionable with a shoulder injury and Layshia Clarendon was added as out with a leg injury. Fowles ended up not playing, but Collier, who was battling through a cold as well as the plantar fasciitis, saved the day.
“I think knowing that we have people out, you have to give a little bit even more than you give on a normal night,” Collier said. “Because especially like rebounding, Syl is such a huge rebounding person for us. So you kind of have to focus on that a little bit more.”
Lynx forward Damiris Dantas suffered a foot injury during Tuesday night’s contest and did not return.
Minnesota shot just 34.8 percent from the field and 5-of-26 from distance. However, it held the Liberty to similar numbers: 32.4 percent from the field and 5-of-24 from deep.
“We always preach that when your offense isn’t getting it done, you gotta win anyway, you win with your defense,” said Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve. “And that was the story for us to be able to pull out a W here tonight.”
Aerial Powers posted 10 points and five rebounds in her third game back from a thumb injury — all three games were Lynx wins. Rachel Banham added eight points and five assists.
Sabrina Ionescu was New York’s top player with 17 points, seven rebounds and six helpers. Betnijah Laney also scored 17 points and rookie Michaela Onyenwere notched an 11-point, 10-rebound double-double.