WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Kia Nurse and Asia Durr provided the offensive spark to help the New York Liberty beat the slow-starting Lynx 75-69 on Wednesday night.
Nurse scored 26 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter, and Durr added 20 — eight more than she had ever scored.
“A balanced scoring effort and getting key stops defensively allowed us to get the win,” Nurse said. “We’re continuing to find ways to win, playing with a lot of passion, and that will allow you to go far in this league. We just need to continue to close it out.”
It was the Liberty’s second victory in a row after an 0-4 start and 17 consecutive losses going back to last season. The Lynx, who trailed by 15 in the first half, got within 61-58 before Nurse hit a three-pointer sparking a 10-4 run that made it 71-62. The Lynx rallied within four, but Durr made a spectacular move, splitting two defenders and scoring with 20 seconds left to seal the win.
“I was just trying to make a play. The shot clock was going down,” Durr said. “I didn’t want to turn the ball over. Make a move and try to score.”
The No. 2 pick in the draft said she was hearing from coach Katie Smith, the former Lynx star, to shoot the ball more.
Sylvia Fowles had 16 points and 11 rebounds to lead Minnesota (4-3), which has dropped three of its past four games. Fowles was happy that the team was able to rally but said the Lynx still need to complete their work.
“Coming back is part of the game,” Fowles said. “Finishing and doing what we need to do is something different, and we’re not executing right now.”
New York used a 14-2 run spanning the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second quarter to turn a 9-8 lead into a 13-point advantage. Durr was a big part of that spurt; the rookie had 12 points by halftime.
Another problem for the Lynx was former Gophers center Amanda Zahui B. with 15 points, 13 rebounds, two blocks and two steals. “What she’s been able to do on the defensive end, having the energy, she’s been the glue for us this year,” Charles said.