Image courtesy of Atlanta Dream twitter.
The Atlanta Dream won big on Tuesday, but lost a tough game to the same Washington team just two nights later. The Mystics bested the Dream 96-93 after trailing 46 to 38 at the half. The 58 point barrage by the Mystics in the second half was just too much to overcome. It’s especially surprising given that Washington was without Tina Charles on the night.
Down the stretch, the Mystics’ composure kept them just ahead: Natasha Cloud hit two free throws with 24.6 seconds to extend Washington’s lead to 92-88, and Atkins added two more on their next possession.
Odyssey Sims made a crucial three-pointer with 4.4 seconds left to pull Atlanta within a point, but Atlanta was called for a technical foul, and Washington made 2 of 3 free throws before Aari McDonald’s last-ditch effort at the buzzer went off the backboard.
Atlanta struggled on defense against Washington. The Mystics shot 49% from the field and 41% from three-point land, making 13 of 31 threes. With Charles out, Ariel Atkins and Theresa Plaisance stepped up big time.
Atkins scored 32 points on 10-15 shooting from the field, while Plaisance added 25 points on 10-16 from the field and hit five three-pointers. Atlanta had no answers for those two players. Cloud just missed out on a triple-double, scoring ten points, grabbing nine rebounds, and dishing out ten assists.
Sims Showing Up
One bright spot for the Dream in the loss was the strong play of new guard Odyssey Sims, who led the Dream in scoring with 22 points on 7-13 shooting from the field. She also added four rebounds and seven assists. She’s proven to be a strong offseason addition in her first season with Atlanta after stints with Minnesota and Los Angeles.
Atlanta Continues to Crash the Boards
After starting the season struggling on the glass, Atlanta has come a long way. In Thursday night’s game against Washington, Atlanta won the rebounding battle 37-31. Tianna Hawkins led the Dream with nine rebounds, and Courtney Williams added eight. The gritty hustle of Atlanta’s guards constantly looking for rebounds on both offense and defense is a huge reason for the turnaround.
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