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Atlanta crushes Chicago 97-59

The Atlanta Dream put on a clinic Saturday night at Philips Arena and crushed the Chicago Sky 97-59 to move into a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Dream put on a clinic at both ends of the floor Saturday night as they handed the Chicago Sky a 97-59 loss and moved into a tie atop the Eastern Conference.

Everything fell into place for the Dream who were well rested after defeating the Sparks on Tuesday. They took advantage of Chicago being on a back-to-back and put them back on their heels right away. Atlanta led by 14 after one and by 25 at the half. The 38-point margin of victory was a franchise record for Atlanta.

The most impressive part of Atlanta's game was their cohesiveness at both ends of the floor. Their defense fueled their offense and few teams are a match for the Dream when they are in transition. Atlanta shot 45 percent for the game and had a massive 51-32 advantage on the boards. Twenty offensive rebounds led to 24 second-chance points for Atlanta. Perhaps most importantly, the Dream committed just 13 turnovers against one of the better defensive teams in the league.

Angel McCoughtry and Erika de Souza led the way for the Dream with 20 points each. Sancho Lyttle finished with a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds while Tiffany Hayes and Shoni Schimmel finished with 11 and 10 points respectively.

Schimmel came off the bench once again and at times shared the backcourt with Celine Dumerc who played 20 minutes in just her second WNBA game. Dumerc finished with three points, six rebounds and five assists while taking a pair of charges on the defensive end. Atlanta's ball movement picked up whenever she was on the floor and you can see that she will be a big part of the team going forward. The Dream recorded assists on 26 of 35 made baskets in Saturday's game.

Allie Quigley led Chicago with 11 points and Jessica Breland added 10. Atlanta's defense harassed Elena Delle Donne into a 3-10 shooting night as she finished with just seven points and zero free throw attempts. Epiphanny Hayes made her season debut for the Sky finishing with seven points in nine minutes.

The win is Atlanta's second straight and ties them with the Sky atop the East Standings at 5-3. The Dream is now 4-1 at Philips Arena and will have another long layoff before hosting the defending champion Minnesota Lynx next Friday.