Playoff-bound Liberty beat expansion Dream 82-71
By VIN A. CHERWOO, AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK(AP) Janel McCarville scored 21 points and Cathrine Kraayeveld added 18 to lead the playoff-bound New York Liberty to a 82-71 victory over the Atlanta Dream on Friday night.

Lisa Willis had 12 points and Ashley Battle added nine for New York (17-12), which clinched its ninth postseason berth when Chicago lost at Connecticut earlier in the evening.

Betty Lennox had 28 points - including six 3-pointers - and seven rebounds for expansion Atlanta (3-28), which moved one loss away from tying the league record set by Chicago in its first season in 2006. Erika DeSouza and Katie Feenstra added 10 points each for the Dream, who lost their ninth straight.

The Liberty, playing without leading scorer Shameka Christon (strained right hamstring) and leading rebounder Tiffany Jackson (stress fracture), remained third in the Eastern Conference - one-half game behind Detroit and 2 1/2 behind the first-place Sun.

New York outscored Atlanta 16-4 to take a 67-55 lead - the Liberty's biggest advantage of the game - on Battle's layup in the opening minute of the fourth quarter.

However, Feenstra had six points and Lennox five as the Dream used an 11-2 run to get within three with 5:17 left in the game.

The Liberty then scored 11 consecutive points to stretch their lead to 82-68 on Willis' two free throws with 50 seconds left.

Kraayeveld's fastbreak layup halfway through the third quarter gave the Liberty a 50-44 lead before Atlanta used a 7-1 run to tie the score at 51 on DeSouza's basket with 3:30 left in the third.

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