Howard and Ionescu clash in Atlanta-New York matchup
New York Liberty (14-20, 8-8 Eastern Conference) at Atlanta Dream (14-19, 5-11 Eastern Conference)
College Park, Georgia; Friday, 7:30 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: Rhyne Howard and Sabrina Ionescu meet when Atlanta hosts New York. Howard is 10th in the WNBA averaging 16.0 points per game and Ionescu ranks eighth in the league averaging 17.9 points per game.
The Dream’s record in Eastern Conference play is 5-11. Atlanta is third in the WNBA shooting 35.6% from downtown, led by Tiffany Hayes shooting 42.9% from 3-point range.
The Liberty have gone 8-8 against Eastern Conference opponents. New York is 3-4 when it has fewer turnovers than its opponents and averages 14.7 turnovers per game.
The teams play for the third time this season. The Dream won the last matchup 92-81 on June 30. Hayes scored 21 points to help lead the Dream to the win.
TOP PERFORMERS: Howard averages 2.4 made 3-pointers per game for the Dream, scoring 16.0 points while shooting 34.0% from beyond the arc. Hayes is averaging 16.2 points over the last 10 games for Atlanta.
Ionescu is averaging 17.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 6.3 assists for the Liberty. Natasha Howard is averaging 14.0 points over the last 10 games for New York.
LAST 10 GAMES: Dream: 4-6, averaging 82.0 points, 35.4 rebounds, 18.8 assists, 6.9 steals and 2.9 blocks per game while shooting 44.0% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 83.4 points per game.
Liberty: 5-5, averaging 78.1 points, 34.5 rebounds, 20.7 assists, 6.8 steals and 3.4 blocks per game while shooting 43.0% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 76.7 points.
INJURIES: Dream: Nia Coffey: out for season (knee).
Liberty: Jocelyn Willoughby: out (quad).