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With just over four minutes left in the third quarter of a game filled with absurd runs, Lynx guard Kayla McBride had had enough.

She had just dribbled into the key, getting bumped along the way, before feeding Bridget Carleton for a three that put the Lynx up three. Unhappy she hadn't drawn a foul, she informed the referees so.

Technical foul.

In the Lynx's 84-67 whipping of New York at Target Center on Saturday, that might have been the turning point.

OK, so it wasn't the only key moment in a game of ridiculous runs; the Lynx used a 20-0 first-half run to take a 21-point lead. New York responded with a 35-14 run to tie the game midway through the third …

… you get the idea.

Sabrina Ionescu made the technical free throw. With 3:18 left in the third, she drove and scored, tying the score at 55-55.

Enough is enough.

"There were things happening in the game I didn't agree with," McBride said. "I just needed to get more aggressive."

The Lynx scored the next 11 points, including a two-pointer from Courtney Williams, consecutive three-pointers by McBride, a three from Alanna Smith.

Game over.

It was the beginning of the end for New York (4-2), which lost its second game in a row. The Lynx (3-1) outscored the 2023 WNBA runner-up 29-12 over the final 13 minutes of the game.

Already, early in the 2024 season, the Lynx — who never had a winning record at any point in 2023 — have developed an identity:

Balance on the offensive end, a cohesiveness on defense that amazes, considering all the new faces.

"It's been our mindset since the start of training camp," said McBride, who scored 14 points. She was one of four players in double figures — Napheesa Collier had 15 points and 12 rebounds, Smith scored 15 points and Carleton, who started in place of Diamond Miller, added 14. "We don't want people to score on us, especially on our home court. It's our anchor. It gives us energy. There is a collective will to play defense."

The Lynx had four players hit two or more three-pointers. Their bench — which included Dorka Juhász for the first time this season — scored 19 points. The team had 26 assists on 32 made baskets. Yet it was the defense that won the day.

BOXSCORE: Lynx 84, New York 67

Defending WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart scored a game-high 20 points, Ionescu had 13 and Courtney Vandersloot 12.

But the Lynx held New York to its lowest point total in a regular-season game in more than a year. New York shot 31.6% in the third quarter and 21.4% (3-for-14) in the fourth while getting outscored 18-9. Saturday was the third time this season a Lynx opponent shot under 40%.

Last season, the Lynx never really found a consistent defense. Not this year.

"They are a group that has made it their identity," Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. "Defensively, the buy-in we're getting is tremendous."

That 11-0 run put the Lynx up for good. With Minnesota up 12 after Ionescu scored with 3:45 left, Carleton fed Smith for a driving layup. Then Carleton stole the ball, was fouled and made two free throws, making it a 16-point game. Moments later, both coaches cleared their benches.

"We had lapses [on defense] in the first half," Carleton said. "It was an emphasis at halftime to clog the paint and make things difficult for them."