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McCamish Pavilion, Atlanta, Ga- Atlanta Dream’s Alex Bentley came off the bench to scored 22 points including getting a late steal to seal the win, 78-75 over the Washington Mystics.
The loss for the Mystics came at a heavy cost when center Elena Delle Donne drove to the basket and went down to the ground with a knee injury with 3:07 left in the game. After holding and clutching her knee, she was helped off the court into the locker room.
“You gotta get a break here, gotta get a break there but. We kept defending and we battled,” said coach mike Thibault.
Early on, Atlanta took an early lead into the second quarter. Turnovers by the Dream kept the Mystics in the game.
With Delle Donne leading the way, Washington was able to play of her and get open shots which gave them a two point lead at halftime.
The third quarter saw the Dream battle and rely heavily on defense. Down by eight, they were led by a energetic Jessica Breland who was able to get two blocks which led to fast break points.
“My teammates react a lot to me in blocking shots and my defense. We challenge each other to play good defense,” stated Breland.
Bentley caught fire late in the third by hitting back-to-back runners. At the end of the third, Atlanta was able to tie it.
Tiffany Hayes hit a driving runner to give the Dream their first lead in the second half. Della Donne was able to match the Dream’s intensity and hit a go ahead jumper to put them up by two.
Kristi Toliver put Washington up by two hitting two free throws. Britney Sykes came back down the floor and made a 20ft jumper to tie the game.
The Dream took a two-point lead at the 1:06 mark off an inbound pass from Hayes to Elizabeth Williams.
Atlanta defense forced Toliver to lose the ball twice and Bentley dove for the ball but was called for a loose ball foul. “We turned the ball over too much but to get stops when needed them says a lot about our team,” said coach Nicki Collen.
Tolliver missed the first one and made the second shot. On the other end after getting fouled, Hayes went to the line with a chance to tie for two but also missed one out of two.
Bentley was able to make up for it by jumping the passing lanes and getting a steal which caused the foul. At the line, she only connected on one out of two.
Toliver had a chance to tie at the buzzard but couldn’t make it.
There is no update on Delle Donne status for game 3. They will meet up for game 3 in Washington on Friday at 8:00 p.m.