Wed, 05 Oct 2022

Playoff berths at stake as Liberty visit Dream

Field Level Media
12 Aug 2022, 04:55 GMT+10

The Atlanta Dream and New York Liberty are among four teams battling for the last two playoff spots as they meet twice this weekend to end the regular season.

Atlanta will host the first game Friday night before heading to New York for the rematch on Sunday afternoon.

The Dream, Liberty, Minnesota Lynx and Phoenix Mercury have identical 14-20 records, but only two will move on to the postseason. Based on tiebreakers, Minnesota entered the weekend as the No. 7 seed with Atlanta at No. 8.

New York and Atlanta split the first two meetings this season, with each winning on the opponent's floor.

The Liberty rallied from a 15-point deficit in the first quarter Wednesday to defeat the Dallas Wings 91-73 to stay in the playoff hunt.

Marine Johannes finished with 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting with two assists, and Sami Whitcomb added 15 points, four rebounds and five assists, playing a big role in the comeback.

Together, they led a Liberty bench that produced 50 points -- the highest bench performance by any WNBA team this season -- on 17-of-29 shooting from the field.

"It's easy," New York head coach Sandy Brondello said. "Basketball is about can you get stops and can you run? That's all it's about. That's what our bench gave us tonight. We got consecutive stops in a row, then we moved the ball and made shots."

Atlanta is returning from an 0-2 road trip this week with losses at Minnesota and Las Vegas.

Six players scored in double figures against the Aces on Tuesday, but four Las Vegas players scored at least 20 in a 97-90 victory.

"We just need to have short-term memory, return to Atlanta and focus on our New York series right now," Atlanta coach Tanisha Wright said after the loss in Nevada.

Aari McDonald, a second-year point guard, scored 16 points against the Aces for her fifth straight game in double figures.

"I'm just looking forward for us to play our best basketball (against New York)," McDonald said. "Just building off the games. We've been competing with our hearts. Everybody's been executing their role to the fullest."

--Field Level Media

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