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Jun 6, 2024 9:44 pm

Liberty pull away from Dream to earn fifth straight win

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Breanna Stewart’s team-high 25 points and 10 rebounds helped lead the visiting New York Liberty to a 78-61 win over the Atlanta Dream on Thursday in College Park, Ga.

Stewart also had five assists, while Betnijah Laney-Hamilton added 15 points for the Liberty (9-2), who won their fifth straight game. Jonquel Jones and Sabrina Ionescu each tallied 10 points for the Liberty, with Jones grabbing eight boards.

Allisha Gray led Atlanta (4-4) with 16 points, while Aerial Powers scored 13 off the bench. Rhyne Howard added 11 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Dream, who fell for a second straight game. Tina Charles, facing her former team, scored five points and brought down a team-high eight rebounds for Atlanta.

Holding a six-point halftime lead, the Liberty began the second half on a 7-0 scoring run, taking a 45-32 advantage with 6:27 remaining in the third quarter. Gray and Naz Hillmon answered with back-to-back jumpers for Atlanta to cut into the deficit.

With the Dream down 11, Lorela Cubaj made a pair of free throws before Hillmon and Gray once again scored on consecutive possessions, cutting New York’s lead to 47-42 with 2:41 left in the third.

Stewart’s three-point play put the Liberty ahead 55-45 with 32.1 seconds left and New York led 55-48 entering the final quarter.

Laney-Hamilton, Leonie Fiebich and Jones each buried triples in the first two-plus of the fourth quarter, giving New York a 66-53 lead and forcing an Atlanta timeout at the 7:36 mark.

Neither team scored for another two minutes, until Laney-Hamilton hit two shots in a 15-second span, putting New York ahead 70-53 at the 5:17 mark.

Powers’ pullup jumper snapped a 3:35 scoreless stretch for Atlanta, cutting the deficit to 70-55 with 4:55 remaining. Howard’s jumper with 3:44 left made it 73-59, but the Dream didn’t connect on another field goal.

In the first half, Atlanta trailed by five with 3:31 left before Cheyenne Parker-Tyus’ layup and Charles’ triple knotted the score at 30.

From there, an 8-2 New York run capped by Laney-Hamilton’s mid-range jumper gave the Liberty a 38-32 halftime lead.

Stewart’s 12 points led New York in the first half, while Parker-Tyus and Gray each scored eight for Atlanta.

–Field Level Media

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