(Image credit- Atlanta Dream twitter)
The Atlanta Dream played the Phoenix Mercury on Saturday afternoon and came up short, 84-69. The game was close entering the fourth quarter with the Mercury being up 60-57. But Skylar Diggins-Smith took over in the fourth quarter, scoring 11 points. Phoenix won the fourth final frame 24-12, and the loss dropped Atlanta’s record to 6-17.
Odyssey Sims led Atlanta with 16 points, and Monique Billing added 15 points. Crystal Bradford added 14 points on 6-13 shooting. One bright spot in the loss for Atlanta was the play of rookie Aaru McDonald, who scored 13 points off the bench on 5-9 shooting from the field.
Courtney Williams Struggled
Courtney Williams has had a great season so far, but she struggled, scoring just nine points on Saturday, shooting 4-16 from the field. However, she did add seven rebounds. Williams was grinding all night long, but just couldn’t find her rhythm on offense.
Atlanta has struggled to rebound all season long; in the game against the Mercury, they were outrebounded 47-24. It’s not impossible, but it’s really, really hard to win when you’re getting outrebounded like that. The Dream just doesn’t have much size inside, their bigs just don’t have enough length to win consistently down low. With this roster construction, the guards will have to do a better job on coming down into the paint to help rebound.
Phoenix Big Three Showed Up
The Mercury’s big three of Diggins-Smith, Diana Taurasi, and Brittney Griner combined for 56 points. Diggins-Smith led the way with 25 points, Taurasi added 18 points, and Griner scored 13. Taurai also added ten rebounds, and Griner grabbed 12 rebounds of her own. If those three players can continue to play well, Phoenix can be a force to be reckoned with come playoff time.
Brianna Turner Came Up Big
In addition to the big three, Brianna Turner added 15 points on 6-9 shooting from the field; she also grabbed ten rebounds. Turner’s impactful play was a game changer for the Mercury.