With New York leading 80-79 in a back-and-forth fourth quarter, Howard hit a 24-footer to put the Liberty up by four with 55 seconds remaining. The Dream extended their ensuing possession by collecting a couple of offensive rebounds before Aari McDonald made a driving layup to trail 83-81 with 26 seconds left. Sabrina Ionescu and Howard both made two free throws for New York, and the Liberty led by six before McDonald made another layup to close out the scoring.
The win, New York's sixth in its past eight games, sent the Liberty to the playoffs as the No. 7 seed. New York will play the 2-seed Chicago Sky in the first round.
Atlanta (14-22) lost its fourth in a row and sixth in its past eight games.