Liberty continue road trip at Dream (Jul 1, 2017)

BY AP • July 1, 2017

The New York Liberty are in the midst of the toughest stretch of their schedule. And it's taking a toll.

The Liberty, losers of three of four, will try to turn things around against the Atlanta Dream on Sunday at McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta. It's the second of a four-game road trip for New York, which will head west to take on Seattle and Phoenix next week.

"It's a long road trip," Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer told the team's website. "But sometimes that can be a positive. It gives the chance for players to bond on the road and a good comraderie can develop."

The Dream just returned from a difficult road trip of their own and were hoping to turn things around at home. But they've dropped back-to-back home games and have lost six of seven overall.

Atlanta gave up an 18-2 run to open the third quarter in Friday's 85-76 loss to the defending champion Los Angeles Sparks.

"One thing I tell my team is you can't give up these home games," Dream coach Michael Cooper said after the loss to the Sparks. "It's tough playing on the road, we've already experienced that. But home court, you've got to take care of that and make those changes out there on the road. But we'll get better."

Like the Dream, New York struggled coming out of halftime in its most recent game, a 67-54 loss at the Washington Mystics. The Liberty scored just seven points in the third quarter against the Mystics and committed 19 turnovers.

"On the road you have to more focus," Laimbeer said. "You can't turn the ball over; you can't make as many mistakes."

The Liberty pounded the Dream on the backboards in a 76-61 win on June 7. Tina Charles dominated with 18 points and 15 rebounds, and Kiah Stokes pulled down a career-high 17 boards against Atlanta. New York outrebounded the Dream 48-35 and pestered Atlanta into 27.6 percent shooting.

The Liberty are leading the WNBA in rebounding this season and have won five of the last six meetings with the Dream.

Tiffany Hayes leads Atlanta in scoring, averaging 17.4 points per game. Rookie guard Brittney Sykes has been a spark plug and got the start against Los Angeles on Friday.

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