all scores

New York Liberty, Phoenix Mercury claim final two WNBA playoff spots

Sabrina Ionescu #20 of the New York Liberty dribbles the ball during the game against the Atlanta Dream on August 14, 2022 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Steve Freeman/NBAE via Getty Images)

The New York Liberty have secured the 8th and final spot in the WNBA playoffs.

The Liberty held off the Atlanta Dream 87-83 Sunday to clinch their second consecutive postseason berth.

New York joins the Phoenix Mercury, who also claimed their place in the playoffs Sunday, Chicago Sky, Las Vegas Aces, Connecticut Sun, Seattle Storm, Washington Mystics and Dallas Wings in the postseason field.

It took some time for New York to gel in coach Sandy Brondello’s first season with the team, turning around a 1-7 start to finish with a 15-13 record. Solid on both sides of the ball, New York ends the regular season first in three-pointers made with 333 and fourth in blocks per game with 4.1 per game.

Stefanie Dolson led the Liberty on Sunday, notching 15 points, 12 rebounds and five assists, with Natasha Howard and Marine Johannes also finishing in the double figures.

“It means a lot,” Dolson said of the team’s playoff berth. “I am just really proud of us.” Moving into the playoffs, Dolson says the team is focusing on “playing the right way,” which, for the Liberty, means moving the ball and playing as a unit.

The WNBA playoffs will kick off Wednesday with the New York Liberty claiming the eighth seed and Phoenix sliding into the seventh seed.