New York Liberty emerge on wrong end of sloppy tilt vs Atlanta

An opportunity for a win fell by the wayside for the New York Liberty despite a career-best in scoring from Leaonna Odom.

An opportunity for a confidence-boosting win fell by the wayside for the New York Liberty. The team allowed only 62 points, no more than 18 a quarter, to the Atlanta Dream, but a tough shooting night led to a 62-56 loss on Thursday night in the Bradenton bubble. Leaonna Odom and Kia Nurse each led the way with 12 points each for the Liberty (2-15).

Stuck at the bottom of the bubble standings, New York and Atlanta (5-13) combined to shoot just a combined 29 percent from the field. The Dream overcame their own poor shooting with a double-double performance from Courtney Williams (15 points, 13 rebounds). Monique Billings also had seven offensive rebounds that led to second-chance points for Atlanta.

The Liberty were slightly hindered in the interior by the loss of rookie and paint prescience Kylee Shook, who was forced to leave the game in the second quarter after landing awkwardly on a defensive stand. New York also shot 19-of-73 from the field, including 6-of-35 from three-point range.

The Liberty started the game on a 17-8 opening run, anchored by triples from Odom, Layshia Clarendon, Amanda Zahui B, and Paris Kea. They led 21-18 after the opening frame with the Dream anchored by several blocks from Elizabeth Williams. She wound up with six on the evening

New York’s shooting woes dominated from thereon. The Liberty held Atlanta to only 13 points in the second quarter but countered with only eight of their own. A strong defensive effort thus went for naught as they failed to convert on their open looks. It spoiled a career-best 12 points from the rookie Odom, a second-round choice that has been a startling lineup staple since the injury to top overall pick Sabrina Ionescu.

Elsewhere for the Liberty, Zahui B, Kea, and Kiah Stokes united for a combined 29 rebounds. Zahui B (11) earned double-digit rebounds for the fifth consecutive game while Kea set a new career-best (8).

The Liberty return to action on Friday night when they take on the Phoenix Mercury (8 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Go/CBSSN).

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags