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Laney nets 30, Dream beats Liberty 84-78; Ionescu injured

New York Liberty forward Sabrina Ionescu (20) pushes the ball up the court during the first half of a WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm, Saturday, July 25, 2020, in Ellenton, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
New York Liberty forward Sabrina Ionescu (20) pushes the ball up the court during the first half of a WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm, Saturday, July 25, 2020, in Ellenton, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Credit: Phelan M. Ebenhack

Credit: Phelan M. Ebenhack

Betnijah Laney scored a career-high 30 points and the Atlanta Dream beat New York 84-78 in a game in which the Liberty lost top draft pick Sabrina Ionescu to an ankle injury in the second quarter

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Betnijah Laney scored a career-high 30 points and the Atlanta Dream beat New York 84-78 Friday night, in a game in which the Liberty lost top draft pick Sabrina Ionescu to an ankle injury in the second quarter.

Rookie Chennedy Carter added 17 points and Monique Billings had eight points and 15 rebounds for Atlanta.

Laney’s 3-pointer with two minutes left in the third quarter gave Atlanta a 14-point — their biggest of the game — but New York (0-3) chipped away, trimming its deficit to 73-71 when Layshia Clarendon made a short jumper with 2:45 to play. Carter answered with a pull-up jumper and then Billings made two free throws and the Liberty got no closer.

Rookie Jazmine Jones scored a season-high 20 points to lead New York and Clarendon scored 16. Ionescu, the No. 1 pick in April's draft, left in the second quarter due to an ankle injury and did not return. She had 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting in 12 minutes.

Laney made a pull-up jumper to pull Atlanta within two at halftime and then the Dream scored the first 13 second-half points to make it 54-43 midway through the third quarter.