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Atlanta- The Atlanta Dream (5-7) woes continue in a loss to the Los Angeles Sparks (11-3) 85-76.
Atlanta played in an odd game where the rebounds, turnovers and field goal percentages were similar but the Dream were never close in this matchup.
Both teams started out hot trading baskets in the early going. Sparks grabbed an early lead after center Candace Parker took it coast-to-coast crossing over two Dream players and hit a “And 1” one handed layup.
The score was 11-10 with 5:30 in the first quarter.
The Dream closed the first quarter on a 7-0 run to tie the game 23-23. Reserve forward Damiris Dontas led the Dream with seven points. Parker led the Sparks with seven points, six rebounds and two assist.
In the beginning of the second quarter, Atlanta went on a 6:29 drought playing out of rhythm. Los Angeles took advantage of the drought by going on a 16-2 run that pushed the lead to 16 points with a balance attack and forcing low percentage shots on defense.
Atlanta was able to fight back with a 7-0 run in the last :49 of the half to cut the lead to eight (44-36).The difference in the first half was the fast break points as Los Angeles led the Atlanta 16-6 in that category.
Parker led the Sparks with 13 points and nine rebounds. For Atlanta, guard Tiffany Hays ands center Elizabeth Williams each had eight points.
L.A. began the second half with an 8-0 run with Parker hitting two 3-pointers. They continued to play well by out 7-11 and the lead ballooned to 18 points 68-50.
“I think we were the aggressors this time around and obviously this was an important game for us,” stated Candace Parker.
Sloppy play by the Dream in the third quarter allowed the Sparks to continue their dominance with a 71-54 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Atlanta would go on mini-runs but couldn’t get over the hump with self inflicting plays whether committing charges or turnover. “Right now, we have to manufacture a win and in order to do that we have to be defensively,” says coach Michael Cooper.
The Dream gets a chance to redeem themselves on Sunday against the New York Liberty (7-6) while the Sparks host the Washington Mystics (10-5).