Of late, The Atlanta Dream have made it a habit to fall behind early only to make a charge in the second half. That was the scenario again on Friday night but a late 19-2 run wasn't enough against the Chicago Sky to pull out a victory.
Atlanta dropped its third straight falling 79-75 to the Sky in a game that was really a struggle at both ends of the floor. If not for a rash of Chicago turnovers, Atlanta probably would have been looking at a blowout loss. The Dream trailed 8-2 early and the Sky later extended that to 18-4 with just over three minutes remaining in the first.
Atlanta fought to stay in the game but were facing an uphill battle the rest of the way. Turnovers by the Sky kept Atlanta in the game and in the fourth quarter they nearly brought the Dream all the way back. The Dream went on a 19-2 run and tied the game at 66-66 with just under five minutes to go. Chicago had an answer as Epiphany Prince scored eight of the Sky's final 13 points to close out the win.
Atlanta has been one of the league's best defensive teams all season and you need look no further than Chicago's 54 percent shooting to see that they were off their game. Offensively it felt it was a struggle all night for the Dream but they ended up shooting a respectable 43 percent from the field. Sancho Lyttle made 7-12 field goals to finish with 15 points and nine rebounds. Tiffany Hayes also finished with 15 on 3-7 shooting and 8-9 from the free throw line.
The game was a struggle from the outset for Angel McCoughtry who at times forced the issue and looked out of control. McCoughtry finished with 12 points but was just 5-17 from the field and committed seven turnovers. Shoni Schimmel went scoreless in 15 minutes but Atlanta did get a boost from Celine Dumerc and Aneika Henry who combined to score 19 off the bench.
Prince led five different Sky players in double figures with 21 points. Jessica Breland added 15 and Sylvia Fowles finished with a double-double for the seventh straight game with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Despite the losing streak, the Dream still have a healthy lead in the Eastern Conference. The loss drops Atlanta to 15-8 on the season but they still lead second place Washington by four full games. The Dream will take on the Mystics on Sunday afternoon.