The losses are mounting for the Atlanta Dream but after Thursday's debacle in Seattle Friday's loss to the Sparks was a step in the right direction. Atlanta trailed for much of the game but rallied in the fourth quarter to force overtime before falling in the final session. The Dream have now lost four straight and 8 of 10. Their lead in the Eastern Conference is down to just two games over the Washington Mystics with four games left to play.
The Dream fell behind 23-17 after one and trailed 37-31 at the half. With Angel McCoughtry struggling again the Dream leaned on center Erika de Souza for offense as she scored 12 of her team-high 21 points in the first half.
Atlanta fell behind by as many as 13 points in the third but rallied late to trail by seven going into the final period. Shoni Schimmel went to work in the fourth quarter connecting on 3-4 three-point attempts to spark the Dream's offense. A McCoughtry jump shot with 3:28 remaining put Atlanta up 69-65 but they couldn't hold the lead as they went scoreless for the remainder of the period and headed to overtime tied at 69-69.
De Souza put Atlanta up 74-73 with a free throw with 1:22 to go in the extra session but a three-pointer by Kristi Toliver put the Sparks up for good on the next possession. Schimmel's fourth three of the night brought Atlanta within 78-77 with just 4.7 remaining but Parker's late free throws sealed it for Los Angeles.
Parker led all scorers with 26 points to go with eight rebounds and four assists. Jantel Lavender added 15 points while Kristi Tolliver finished with 14. Nneka Ogwumike finished with a near triple-double with 14 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.
De Souza led Atlanta with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Schimmel's four three-pointers accounted for all 12 of her points. Angel McCoughtry also finished with 12 but was just 5-20 from the field and 0-5 from three-point range. She did finish with nine rebounds and three steals but also turned the ball over six times. Tiffany Hayes added 11 while Sancho Lyttle netted seven points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.
After skipping the first game of the road trip, Michael Cooper was back on the bench for the second straight game for the Dream. Atlanta will close out the road trip on Sunday in Chicago.