Ionescu, Howard power Liberty to 89-77 win over Dream
ATLANTA (AP) — Sabrina Ionescu scored 21 points, Natasha Howard had 19 and Marine Johannes added 17 as the New York Liberty defeated the Atlanta Dream 89-77 on Friday night.
The Liberty(8-10) made a season-high 16 3-pointers, with five each by Ionescu and Johannes. Howard had 10 rebounds, and Ionescu had nine rebounds and eight assists.
Ionescu, Crystal Dangerfield and Sami Whitcomb opened the fourth quarter with 3-pointers and Howard scored the final four points of a 13-4 run that gave the Liberty an 81-68 lead with 4:56 remaining. New York led by double digits the rest of the way.
After shooting 56% in the first half and leading 53-43 at halftime, the Liberty missed 11 of their first 15 shots in the third quarter as Atlanta closed within 63-59 with 2:10 remaining in the quarter. Atlanta’s Beatrice Mompremier made two free throws with 1:02 remaining and the Dream went to the fourth quarter trailing 68-64.
AD Durr led Atlanta (8-9) with 23 points in 29 minutes off the bench. Rhyne Howard had 19 points and eight rebounds and Aari McDonald scored 12 points.
The Liberty led from the start and a 12-0 run gave them a 17-4 lead with 4:38 remaining in the first quarter. They went on to lead 33-16 after one period. The 33 points were a season-high for the opening quarter.