ATLANTA – Erika DeSouza tied a career high with 27 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, Lindsey Harding scored 25 points and the Atlanta Dream rallied for an 87-81 victory over the New York Liberty on Thursday night.
DeSouza's size and agility caused matchup problems for the Liberty, who were outscored 46-22 in the paint. She shot 11 for 16 from the field as the Dream (3-7) snapped a two-game skid.
Cappie Pondexter scored 24 points for New York (4-5), which couldn't hold a 10-point after Plenette Pierson hit an 18-footer with 3:40 left in the third quarter.
Atlanta went on a 14-3 run that ended with Armintie Price's runner in the final minute of the period for a 62-61 lead — the Dream's first since the game's early seconds.
DeSouza's two free throws with 5:11 left put Atlanta ahead 73-72 and it never trailed again. She hit a 17-footer from the right baseline for an 83-78 lead as the shot clock was expiring with 45.7 seconds remaining.
Essence Carson scored 12 points and Kia Vaughn 11 for the Liberty, who had won two straight.
New York took its first 10-point lead midway through the first quarter on Carson's 3-pointer. Breland's jumper with 6:22 to go in the second extended the lead to 34-21, the Liberty's biggest advantage of the game.
Nicole Powell opened the third quarter with a pair of 3s that caused Dream coach Marynell Meadors to call timeout with Atlanta trailing 50-39.
Lindsey Harding's layup helped the Dream cut the lead to five midway through the third, but Pondexter followed with a jumper and Vaughn a pair of layups to make it 56-45.
Pierson left the game briefly with a left ankle injury early in the second. She was being defended by Sandora Irvin from behind when Harding collided with her in front. Pierson returned at the midpoint of the period and finished with eight points and seven rebounds in 27 minutes.
DeSouza also scored 27 points on Sept. 4, 2009, at Sacramento.