Dangerfield scores season-high 18 to keep Liberty in playoff hunt

Tim Heitman / National Basketball Association / Getty

ATLANTA (AP) — Crystal Dangerfield scored a season-high 18 points, Betnijah Laney added 17 points and the New York Liberty held off the Atlanta Dream 80-70 on Friday night.

New York (15-20) entered the game in a four-way tie with Minnesota, Atlanta, and Phoenix for the final two playoff spots. The Lynx and Mercury each play later Friday night, and the Liberty host the Dream (14-21) on Sunday to close the regular season.

New York led by as many as 22 points, but Atlanta scored nine of the opening 10 points of the fourth quarter to get to 71-60. Erica Wheeler and Aari McDonald each made a fast-break layup on consecutive possessions to cap a 14-4 run to make it 74-67 with 6:15 left. But Atlanta did not make another field goal the rest of the way.

Sabrina Ionescu had 15 points, eight rebounds, and six assists, and Natasha Howard had 14 points and 12 rebounds for New York.

New York shot 63.6% from the field in the first quarter, scoring 31 points to take a four-point lead. The Liberty only scored 27 points in the second half.

Wheeler scored 16 points and Rhyne Howard added 13 for Atlanta. Cheyenne Parker had 13 points and McDonald scored 10.

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More AP women’s basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Dangerfield scores season-high 18 to keep Liberty in playoff hunt
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