Pondexter scores 33 points and Liberty earn 88-82 victory over Dream
ATLANTA – Cappie Pondexter scored 33 points and the New York Liberty earned an 88-82 victory over the Atlanta Dream on Sunday.
Angel McCoughtry scored 30 points and Erika de Souza had a season-high 23 points and 10 rebounds, but the Dream lost for the seventh time in eight games after a 10-1 start to the season.
Atlanta (11-8) became the last WNBA team to lose at home in falling to 8-1 in Philips Arena. New York (10-13) moved to 4-7 on the road.
The Liberty out-rebounded the Dream 43-30.
The Liberty clinched the game when Pondexter drove the lane and made contact with Atlanta defender Leilani Mitchell with 19 seconds left. Mitchell was called for blocking, and Pondexter's two free throws gave New York an 85-80 lead.
Pondexter scored 11 points in the first quarter and added a 3-point play with less than one second left in the first half as New York took a 42-37 lead.
The Dream led briefly in the third on a pair of free throws by rookie Alex Bentley, but New York moved ahead 68-63 by the end of the period.
New York's Plenette Pierson and Kelsey Bone led the Liberty's rebounding with a season-high 12 and 10, respectively.
With McCoughtry on the bench to start the second quarter after she picked up two offensive fouls in the first quarter, Bentley helped Atlanta rally for a brief lead.
Moments after making a 3-pointer, she scored a layup off a Jasmine Thomas steal to give the home team a 26-25 lead with 6:00 left in the period. The Dream entered the game leading the WNBA in steals (11.2 per game). They had seven Sunday.
New York led 42-37 at halftime, however, after Pondexter's buzzer-beating 3-point play.
Pondexter's free throw gave her 16 points in the half on 6-for-12 shooting, but the Liberty built their lead largely on a 24-11 rebounding edge.
Pierson had nine in the half, and de Souza (five rebounds) was the only Atlanta player to grab more than two over the first two quarters.
Bentley made a pair of free throws with 5:02 left in the third quarter to cap a 6-0 Atlanta run for the Dream's only lead of the period 55-54. Pondexter added 12 points in the quarter and the Liberty took a 68-63 edge after three.