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WNBA Repeats: Layshia Clarendon Minnesota Lynx, Best Las Vegas Bait

The Minnesota Lynx Defeat the Las Vegas Aces 77-67 Friday night at Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas for their sixth consecutive win and improving to 2-0 against preseason favorite and Aces second.

Minnesota did not attempt one free throw, while Vegas was 16-out-19 off the line.

With the win, Lynx is now in fourth place 11-7 while the Aces drop to 14-6. Minnesota started 0-3 and until recently was safely trapped in a second-place finish under first-place Seattle Storm, Las Vegas and third-place Connecticut Sun. Now they are just 1.5 games behind the Sun and three games behind the Storm, who lost Friday night, just like the Aces.

Layshia Clarendon continued her incredible storyline as a player who was almost out of the league before the Lynx showed confidence in her with 18 points, nine assists and five rebounds. Damiris Dantas and Sylvia Fowles both had 14 points and nine rebounds, and Dantas added four sets. Kayla McBride was good for 10 points, while Napheesa Collier was kept at seven.

Minnesota jumped to one 33-18 and led the rest of the double figures, an impressive way to beat the Aces, who scored 23.5 fewer points than their 90.5 per game in the league.

The Lynx won the field goal percentage by 45.3 to 35.8 and was 9-out-22 at a distance compared to Vegas’ 3-of-15 effort.

Kelsey Plum defeated Vegas by 18 points. The Aces were without All-Star center Liz Cambage due to her Australian national team commitments.

Other action

Phoenix Mercury (9-9) over Seattle Storm (15-5), 85-77

Phoenix was just three seconds ahead with 29 seconds left, but the Storm were pointless the rest of the point and the Mercury finished 5-out-6 from the charity line to close out the game.

Phoenix center Brittney Griner followed her performance of 33 points and 10 rebounds Wednesday with 29 and 15, while point guard Skylar Diggins-Smith (three steals) followed up her 27-point, eight-assist performance with 26 and six.

Breanna Stewart had a 15-point, 13-point defeat.

The Mercury outscored the Storm 50-34 in the paint and won the field goal percentage battle 47.1 to 38.2.

Connecticut Sun (13-6) over Atlanta Dream (6-12), 84-72

Elizabeth Williams took a good step to complete a controversial essay, reducing Atlanta’s deficit to four by 4:13 left. It was the tail end of a 13-2 Dream run. However, Connecticut responded with a 10-2 run that included four points from Briann January (11 points) to close out the game.

The Sun’s three All-Stars, Jonquel Jones, DeWanna Bonner and Brionna Jones, scored 24, 22 and 16 points respectively. J. Jones, who leads the league with 10.6 rebounds per game, added 16 boards while B. Jones had nine. Both Bonner and B. Jones scored four assists.

Cheyenne Parker scored 15 points and six rebounds in the defeat.

Connecticut won the points in the paint battle 46-26, shooting more than 50 percent from the field and surpassing the dream by 10.

Indiana Fever (3-16) over New York Liberty (10-10), 82-69

Kelsey Mitchell scored 20 points and dished out five assistants to give the fever their first winning streak of the season. All of Indiana’s top players, along with Teaira McCowan, added 15 points, nine rebounds and four blocks, and Danielle Robinson scored 18 points and five assists. Jantel Lavender (six plates) and Tiffany Mitchell each had 10 points.

Betnijah Laney had 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists as a defeat.

Indiana (13-of-13 from the free-throw line) won the points in the paint battle 46-30, forcing 20 Liberty turnovers.

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