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Shorthanded Liberty face off against shorthanded Lynx

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Minnesota Lynx v Las Vegas Aces Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

Late game heartbreak. The New York Liberty put up a heck of a fight against the Indiana Fever on Thursday evening, but couldn’t bring it all the way home and lost a close one by seven points.

The opponent tonight will be the Minnesota Lynx. The team has had to weather a lot of storms as they fight to make the playoffs, but they’re still standing. Things became a little harder for them after losing to the Las Vegas Aces on Thursday evening.

Where to follow the game

CBS Sports Network is where we go. Tip off after 6 PM.

Injuries

Sabrina Ionescu is out.

Sylvia Fowles had to leave Thursday’s game early due to injury, and she has been ruled out indefinitely due to a calf strain. Shenise Johnson is questionable with a hamstring injury.

The game

Minnesota won the first meeting last week.

Even amidst the tough injury luck, the team is being recognized for just how hard they play. A lot of that is thanks to the leadership of Layshia Clarendon. Here's Leanna Odom with more:

“Layshia’s always going to voice her opinion, and she’s always going to put us in the right spots. It’s amazing to work with her just because she’s going to tell me if I’m doing something wrong, or if there’s a better way to do it.”

A playoff appearance this year is incredibly unlikely for the Liberty, but every day is a chance to learn and get better for tomorrow.

Without Fowles, the Lynx will suffer on the boards. Minnesota is currently third in the W in rebounding, and a lot of that was due to having one of the league's greatest rebounders patrolling the paint. Without Fowler, Amanda Zahui B is due to have another good game. Zahui B has fully adjusted to Walt Hopkins' three point attack and is second on the team in three point percentage.

When the shots aren't falling, force yourself to the free throw line. That worked for Kia Nurse against the Fever as she scored a season high 21 points. The ankle injury threw her off track, but Nurse is too talented a player to be down forever.

Player to watch: Odyssey Sims

Sims is back after giving birth to her first child earlier this year. Playing in the wubble is tough enough, and doing so after giving birth makes it even tougher. Sims talked about it with Katie Davidson of The Next:

"It’s going to be a task. Up until this point, it has been hard. I mean, I had a kid. Coming back from pregnancy is not the easiest, but I’m here and I’m ready to play."

Sims played 15 minutes against Vegas, and I think she'll be in that range for a little while before ramping it up. The Lynx have been ravaged by injuries and having Sims to help divide the workload among the backcourt will help preserve everyone's energy as the season grinds on.

The Liberty turned it over a season low seven times on Thursday, and a lot of that was due to Clarendon. Without Ionescu, Clarendon has had more ballhandling responsibilities than anyone expected, but they've made the most of it. The scoring is a nice touch and having someone like Clarendon that can chip in with some buckets while keeping the team composed is a blessing.

Jam session

Janet Jackson, Jimmy Jam, and Terry Lewis? We can do that

More reading: Canis Hoopus and Swish Appeal.