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Jul 1, 2024 7:07 pm

Liberty own best record, but Lynx have the edge entering rematch

breanna stewart

It’s a rematch of the recent 2024 Commissioner’s Cup championship game on Tuesday when the New York Liberty host the Minnesota Lynx.

While the Liberty are 16-3 overall this season — the franchise’s best record through 19 games and the best record in the WNBA — the Lynx have beaten the Liberty twice this season, including for the Commissioner’s Cup on June 25. That game does not count in the WNBA standings.

“You have to talk about us now,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said after the 94-89 victory over the Liberty. “We just beat a superteam.”

The Lynx (14-4) have the best record in the Western Conference and have won seven of their last eight games, not counting the Commissioner’s Cup championship. They’re coming off a 70-62 win over the Chicago Sky on Sunday.

Napheesa Collier has 11 double-doubles this season, ranks fourth in the WNBA in scoring at 20.9 points per game and is third in the league with 10.4 rebounds. Kayla McBride averages 15.8 points for the Lynx, whose defense leads the WNBA in field-goal percentage allowed (39.2 percent). They are second to the Connecticut Sun (73.1) in allowing just 74.3 ppg.

New York is led by two-time league MVP Breanna Stewart, who is averaging team bests at 19.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. In the Liberty’s win Sunday over Atlanta, Stewart became the fastest player in WNBA history to reach 5,000 points in a career.

Stewart did it in 242 games, while Phoenix Mercury star point guard Diana Taurasi hit the milestone in 243 games.

“I think it’s a cool honor for sure, obviously. When you’re able to pass someone like Di who is paving the way with all of her scoring, it’s an honor,” Stewart said. “It’s something I will definitely text her about. I wouldn’t be able to be here and do all the things I can do without my teammates.”

The Liberty have built their league-leading record powered by Stewart, Sabrina Ionescu (18.8 ppg) and Jonquel Jones (16.2).

After missing eight games following the death of her mother, guard Courtney Vandersloot returned to the Liberty lineup in the Commissioner’s Cup loss to Minnesota. She had seven points and seven assists in the win over the Dream.

“It’s good to have the whole team back,” Liberty coach Sandy Brondello said. “It makes the rotations a little hard, but we have been playing so well. We have a little more depth back on the bench now.”

–Field Level Media

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