The Atlanta Dream stormed back late but fell in double overtime with a 90-79 loss to the New York Liberty. Atlanta has now lost three of their last five games and trail the Liberty in the East standings for the first time this season.
New York’s defense made things tough for Atlanta for most of the day and limited them to just 33 percent shooting in the game. Atlanta trailed 17-12 at the end of the first but rallied in the second behind 10 points from Tiffany Hayes to take a 37-36 lead at the half.
The lead was short lived as the Liberty retook control in the second half and led by nine points with just over three minutes remaining before the Dream went on an 11-2 run to force overtime. The two teams jostled in the extra session but Tina Charles missed a game winning attempt with 5.8 seconds remaining to send the game to a second overtime.
New York put the game away for good early on in the final overtime period with a 10-0 run to take full control of the game. Atlanta was 0 for 4 from the field with three turnovers in the final overtime and were outscored by a 14-3 margin.
Despite the loss, head coach Michael Cooper was pleased with his team’s effort.
"What a game," Cooper said. "We just caught a team that is red hot at this point in time, but I still really love the fight that our players took to them New York."
Angel McCoughtry led the Dream with 22 points while Tiffany Hayes added 17. Elizabeth Williams finished in double figures for the seventh straight game with 16. Sancho Lyttle returned to the team for the first time in four games and logged a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Lyttle missed the last four games while playing with the Spanish National Team in an Olympic qualifying tournament.
"It’s great to have Sancho back," Cooper said. "She’s such a savior back there. She really guides our defense but again the biggest key to me is that we didn’t rebound the ball well enough and usually when we rebound we win."
Tina Charles continued her torrid start to the season missing out on a triple-double by one rebound while finishing with 28 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists. Shavonte Zellous pitched in 14 off the bench while Swin Cash added 13 for the Liberty.
The Dream will look to right the ship as they head back out on the road for a three-game road trip on Saturday in San Antonio. The trip will take them to Seattle and Los Angeles before returning home to face Phoenix.
"We’ve got to take a deep breath," Cooper said of the upcoming trip. "We’ll go back and look at the film and look at the good things that we did as opposed to focusing on some of the bad things. It puts a lot of stress on this road trip but I think that we can go 3-0. We’ve got a few days between so our first stop is San Antonio so we’re going to go out there to win the game."