Nurse Boosts Liberty to 75-69 Win against Lynx
WHITE PLAINS, NY- The New York Liberty racked up its second consecutive win against the Minnesota Lynx tonight at Westchester County Center, beating the team 75-69. Kia Nurse led all scorers in the game with a season-high 26 points in 40 minutes of play.
New York had four players score double figures. Nurse (season-high, 26), Durr (career-high, 20), Zahui B (season-high, 15), Charles (12). Brittany Boyd was the only other Liberty player to score in the game, adding two points.
The Liberty led by as much as 15 in the first half with a 14-2 run during the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second quarter. Asia Durr led all scorers with 14 points on 70% (7-10) shooting at the half.
New York never looked back in the second-half, maintaining their first-half lead despite Minnesota getting within three points.
Kia Nurse scored a season-high 26 points, 16 of which came in the second half.
New York shot a season-high 46.2% from the field tonight.
Zauhi B scored a season high 15 points and 13 rebounds, her first double-double of the season.
Brittany Boyd added a season-high 7 assists.
The last time New York had back-to-back wins was July 11, 2018 (at Connecticut) and July 15 (Chicago at New York).
The Liberty last beat the Lynx on August 20, 2017 in New York.
Fowles scored the first 6 points for Minnesota and went on to lead all Lynx scorers with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
The Lynx shot only 29.3% (12-41) from the field in the first half and 57.1% (16-28) in the second half.
Minnesota shot 30% (9-30).
NEW YORK QUOTES:
Coach Katie Smith Opening Statement:
"Happy with the win. Thought lots of folks showed up, energy was good again. Too many turnovers again, we kinda kept them in the ball game a little tighter than we needed to but making plays at the end. Tanisha, Zahui, Nurse, Durr, Tina, just really I thought really came in and did a great job tonight."
Coach Katie on Team Depth:
"It does speak a lot for us that we have other people knocking down shots and people being aggressive, you know reading the defense better and having those opportunities and finding those folks so again stuff that we want to instill in them and again, people hit shots, other people hit shots, and it's gonna open other things for Tina...that depth that we have scoring is huge, something that we wanna continue to build off of and make sure that every single person has confidence in what they're doing."
Coach Katie on Amanda Zahui B.:
"Zahui, from last year to this year, she's built on that, her motor, she's challenged herself to crash and be a rebounder on every single possession. I think I've said it before, I think it takes an extreme amount of energy to crash on every possession, something I would not do, but I think it is something that she's bought into. She is creating a lot of havoc on both ends and she's knocking down shots and being aggressive which, she has to be, she has to put pressure on them. So I just think her overall game and also her help defense and her overall defense without fouling has been big for us."
Coach Katie on Kia Nurse:
"Her offense, her defense, she's able to function even when she's a bit tired so I think she just had a monster game and came up really big."
Coach Katie on Team Defense:
"I think our defense, the way we fly around, understanding the personnel who we're playing against what we're trying to do, has to continue to improve to give ourselves a chance to win in this league. And when we put points on the board, not turning it over, obviously that dictated it we could've put a few more points on the board but our defense, that energy, that rebounding has to be there and the rest of it, scoring, field goal percentage, we'll take whatever comes."
Amanda Zahui B. on her improved mindset:
"Tanisha (Wright) has really been harping on me playing like a veteran that the team needs on the floor. I can't foul, so I had to grow up and make adjustments for the sake of my team."
Zahui B. on support from New York Liberty fans:
"The New York crowd has been absolutely amazing ever since I've been traded here from Tulsa. They have literally been amazing all my four years here, and I appreciate them standing by when I didn't play, or I would come in with a minute and twenty seconds left in a game and they would go crazy and just showing love and I really appreciate that. I just really love our supporters."
Kia Nurse on her performance:
"I'm one of those people who whatever the team is going to ask me to do, I'm going to do and for me this year, that has been more of a role for me. We run plays where the first option is a shot coming off a stagger and I've learned to step into that and learned to understand that if I get better at shooting and get my feet set underneath me, I'll be alright. It's a different role, but it's definitely a challenge that I like."
Nurse on the upcoming games:
"For me, I'm really relying on our older vets. Tanisha Wright and Tina Charles do a really great job for leadership with us and I'm just trying to soak it all in, learn what they do well and how I can help on the outside. Going into back to back games is tough, but you just have to really understand that this is part of the game, part of being a professional and getting your body right. It's a long travel day to go to the West Coast, but just sleep, eat and stay up with it."
MINNESOTA LYNX QUOTES:
Coach Cheryl Reeve on team's loss:
"I wish we had made some more shots, but you can't really hang your head on that on the road. You have to defend well enough to cover for yourself. We gave up too many points in the paint, we gave up too many points in the paint. There were some tough ones where we couldn't score, and then they would come down for an easy layup. You have to be perfect on defense right now and I think we have been for the most part throughout the season. Give New York credit they won the game."
Coach Reeve's thoughts on Liberty:
"Honestly, I think it's a team that's been together and Zahui B.'s role has increased, which has given her lots of confidence and gives the team something extra. The team is a lot of the same, but Tanisha Wright is back, and I think they're just running a lot of the same things and running it the same way they're just really trusting themselves. I'm sure after losing to us three times last year that at some point you get tired of that."
Reeve's on Jessica Sheppard's injury Napheesa Collier stepping up:
"Napheesa is always motivated she's one of those players that whatever task you give her she's going to go do. She's going to play hard, she just couldn't get any offense going, I think she had four 3's in the first half that didn't foul, and she's been a good player for us. So, I just tell her to keep doing what she's doing."
Lexie Brown on her Role:
"She has confidence in me to shoot the ball and that's what shooters are on the court to do...There are times in the game where she wants me to run the one as well and get everyone involved...I made a very huge effort this offseason to get my three ball a little bit stronger than it has been in the past."
Brown on Team Overall Effort:
"Our defense is what is keeping us in these ball games and I think our offense is going to catch up."
Sylvia Fowles on Team Overall Effort:
"You can't let Nurse go off and Durr go off, but we gave up three other pieces...Have short term memory especially in our league, I think we did okay for the most part but turnover's killed us...We need to limit our turnovers and pay attention to detail and get some stops and I think we will be okay."
Fowles on Team:
"I think our guards do a really good job of getting me second looks. I get different looks depending from game to game."
Fowles on Team Defense:
"This is by far the best defensive team the Lynx have had in a while."
Fowles on Individual Role:
"I try to see what's best for the team first...But for the most part like you said we have shooters and I don't want them to feel like they have to look at me 24/7 and know that they can knock it down from the perimeter."
Napheesa Collier on today's game:
"I think what went wrong was we had 21 turnovers that really killed us and executing our offense is what we have been struggling with...I think overall our defense has been really good we just have to settle in on offense and execute and cut our turnover's down."
Collier on next game (Connecticut Sun):
"Yeah Connecticut is a really good team so if we have as many turnovers as we did tonight Coach just said we are going to get outscored by a lot...We have to take care of the ball."
Collier on Individual Effort Moving Forward:
"I think just being more aggressive and going after rebounds...And defensively just trying to get through screens."
Next up for the Liberty: New York travels to Las Vegas tomorrow to face the Aces on Friday. The Liberty will then play the Los Angeles Sparks before returning home.
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