Pierson scores 20 as Liberty beat Dream

Photo by Christine Troyke

Photo by Christine Troyke

ATLANTA-- Pienette Pierson scored 20 points, Leilani Mitchell sank four 3-pointers -- all in the final period -- and the New York Liberty held off the Atlanta Dream 85-75 on Tuesday night.

Cappie Pondexter had 16 points and Nicole Powell added 13 for New York, which solidified its hold on third in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta fell a half game behind Chicago in the race for the conference's fourth and final playoff spot.

Angel McCoughtry led the Dream with 24 points. Lindsey Harding added 14 with nine assists.

Atlanta, the defending conference champion, has lost two straight after a five-game winning streak.

Mitchell opened the final period with two 3-pointers -- her first two field goals of the game. She made another 3, barely beating the shot clock, to push the lead to 79-72, before her fourth 3 gave her 12 points in the quarter.