Entering tonight’s game, the Atlanta Dream was riding high on a four game winning streak and a Eastern Conference’s best 5-1 record looking to extend their streak to five wins in a row before returning to Philips Arena. Atlanta’s opponent, the Connecticut Sun, entered as losers of four straight and was just 1-5 and looking to avoid a franchise worst start in this contest.
Atlanta stormed out to a 9-2 lead with 8:21 to go in the First Quarter thanks to contributions from Tiffany Hayes, Sancho Lyttle and Layshia Clarendon’s layup; however, Connecticut went on a 14-0 run erasing Atlanta’s lead and extended their own to 16-9 after Alex Bentley’s jump-shot. Both teams would trade baskets for the remainder of the period and the Connecticut Sun led 26-19 after the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Dream made a huge rally after trailing by as many as nine points when Aneika Henry-Morello hit two free throws extending Connecticut’s lead to 28-19 with 9:15 to go in the half. Afterwards, the Dream responded with their own 17-2 run and took the lead back up to six. The Sun would make it interesting as they trimmed Atlanta’s lead to 43-39 as Tiffany Hayes led the team in scoring with 12 points and the team shot 44% while Connecticut’s leading scorer was Camille Little with 10 points while the Sun was shooting 48%.
Atlanta opened the second half with a 12-4 spurt extending their lead to as many as 12 points as at 55-43. Connecticut couldn’t trim the deficit any closer than eight points as the Dream finished the quarter with a 65-54 lead. Atlanta shot 50% for the period while Connecticut shot a dismal 3 for 16 from the field. In the final quarter, Connecticut couldn’t trim the deficit within two possessions until: 41.2 seconds remaining in the game as the Dream held on to win 83-77.
For the Dream, Tiffany Hayes posted 23 points, five rebounds, three assists, and a steal. Angel Mccoughtry added 21 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and three steals and both shot over 50% from the field in tonight’s game. Carla Cojito gave a spark off the bench as she posted 13 points, including hitting 3 of her 4 three point attempts, and four rebounds. As for the Sun, Alex Bentley posted 16 points, two assists, a steal & a rebound. Camille Little added 12 points, two assists, and two rebounds while Jasmine Thomas ended with 10 points, five assists, four rebounds, three steals, and a block.
Tonight’s victory extends the Atlanta Dream winning streak to five games and they are now an Eastern Conference best 6-1 on the season. Their 6-1 start is the best start since 2013 when they won the Eastern Conference. Atlanta returns home to face the Washington Mystics in the first of a four game home-stand at Philips Arena on Sunday.