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In yet another late collapse, Liberty lose to Atlanta Dream in Westchester

Atlanta Dream v New York Liberty Photo by Catalina Fragoso/NBAE via Getty Images

The New York Liberty season, which started so promising with a new owner and a .500 record early on, is ending poorly ... and in discomforting ways. Once again, after holding a lead in the first half, New York fell apart in the second and lost in the closing minutes, this time to the Atlanta Dream, 90-87, in White Plains.

The loss brought the Liberty record to 9-19. They have now lost 12 of their last 14 games. The win broke the Dream’s 12-game losing streak and game them a 6-22 record.

Renee Montgomery made a contested layup in the lane with 15.8 seconds left to give Atlanta an 88-87 lead. After Rebecca Allen’s free-throw line jumper rolled out, Hayes made two free throws and Allen was long on a corner 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Joe Tsai’s (other) team put up some of its best shooting of the season early against the WNBA’s worst team. The Liberty shot 90.9% from the field and 100% from 3-point land through the first 16 minutes of the quarter. At the end of the 1st Quarter, New York leads Atlanta 29-27.

After two quick three’s from Allen in the second, Liberty were up 44-33 with 5:31 left in the 2nd Quarter. That’s when the Dream woke up. The lead dwindled to one at the half and Atlanta used a 27-11 spurt through the first nine minutes of the third to take a 73-62 lead. The Liberty fought back to take a one-point lead before Montgomery’s heroics.

Bria Hartley led New York with 17 points, and Tina Charles had 15 points, eight rebounds and five assists. The Liberty drew 1,851 fans to the Westchester County Center.

Atlanta won its first game since topping Minnesota on July 12, snapping the team’s longest slide since starting 0-17 in 2008.

Dream coach Nicki Collen told High Post Hoops post-game that she looks her team in the eye everyday and says “This isn’t a five-win team. We know we’re better than that... but we’ve gotta close games out. Sometimes, it takes getting one.”