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Liberty can’t close gap in second half, fall to Lynx

New York Liberty head coach Bill Laimbeer reacts

New York Liberty head coach Bill Laimbeer reacts against the Seattle Storm during a WNBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, July 6, 2016. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

MINNEAPOLIS — Seimone Augustus had 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting in her return from a knee injury, and Maya Moore added 15 to help the Minnesota Lynx cruise to an 88-70 victory over the New York Liberty on Friday night.

Augustus, who missed the last three games because of a sore left knee, grabbed a season-high seven rebounds and had four assists. Janel McCarville scored a season-best 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for Minnesota (18-4).

Back-to-back baskets by Shavonte Zellous pulled the Liberty (16-7) within four with 2:35 left in the first half, but Lindsay Whalen hit a jumper and had two assists during a 9-2 run that pushed the Lynx’s lead into double figures early in the third quarter. Minnesota, ranked second in the AP WNBA power poll, made 10 of 15 from the field in the period and led the rest of the way.

Tina Charles had 15 points and 14 rebounds, and Zellous added 11 points for the third-ranked Liberty. New York had its four-game winning streak snapped.

The Lynx have won three games in a row and five of their last six.

New York Sports