Atlanta falls to Chicago without Angel McCoughtry

USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Dream suffered their first loss of the season with an 87-73 defeat to the Chicago Sky without Angel McCoughtry who sat out the game due to a shoulder injury.

The Atlanta Dream suffered their first setback of the season with an 87-73 loss to the unbeaten Chicago Sky.

Atlanta came out of the gate well and battled despite being without forward Angel McCoughtry who was a late scratch due to a shoulder injury. A late surge gave the Sky a 41-39 lead at the half. Chicago extended the lead to as many as 14 in the third quarter and never looked back as Elena Delle Donne found a rhythm on the offensive end of the floor. Atlanta could have used McCoughtry's shot making prowess in the second half as the Dream shot just 33 percent.

Atlanta head coach Michael Cooper was forced to juggle his starting lineup due to the loss of McCoughtry and opted to go with veteran, and former Chicago Sky player, Swin Cash. She struggled yet again finishing with just two points and three assists on 1-5 shooting in just over 18 minutes. Rookie Shoni Schimmel also entered the starting lineup alongside Jasmine Thomas with Tiffany Hayes being shifted to the bench. Schimmel didn't disappoint as she finished with 17 points and eight assists although she did have five turnovers. Hayes added 12 points off the bench while Erika de Souza led Atlanta with 18 points and 12 rebounds.

On this night, Delle Donne was clearly the best player on the floor. She finished with 27 points on 8-15 shooting and was a perfect 9-9 from the free throw line. Allie Quigley added 13 off the bench while Courtney Vandersloot finished with a double-double with 10 points and 11 assists.

For Atlanta, the focus is moving on and getting healthy. The Dream hadn't played in a week and McCoughtry was battling a leg injury in the win over the Fever. It sounded like the shoulder injury developed late and according to head coach Michael Cooper, it doesn't sound too serious.

"She's better," said Dream coach Michael Cooper. "I think it was more of a precautionary measure for her because we play tomorrow. If that had been late in the season and we needed her, I'm sure she would have toughed it out."

That is good news for the Dream who are right back at it on Sunday when they face Indiana in a rematch at Philips Arena.

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